The Norwegian Nobel Committee today has announced that IAAF president Lamine Diack of Senegal has been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his and his organization’s long and unwavering leadership in the promotion of cooperation through running around the world.
“The Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between health, fitness and peace,” said a committee spokesman in announcing the selection. “Such connections are a prerequisite for the fraternity between nations of which Alfred Nobel wrote in his will.”
Over the past several decades the IAAF has made enormous progress in creating and sustaining running initiatives throughout the world, even as it hopes to culminate those efforts with their proposed Israeli-Palestinian Friendship Marathon Relay, which yearns to bring the long-time enemies into accord through the “Runners Without Borders” program. The event would symbolically use as its finish line the proposed permanent border between Israel and the Palestinian state.
“No matter the differences between people, the act of running has been instrumental in showing us all the commonality rather than differences between us,” said Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee. “The IAAF has shown us all what’s possible in the realm of human cooperation through international sport. We would also like to make special note of the work done by the IAAF’s 212 national governing body members, which have become the ne plus ultra of competence and forward thinking. What would the athletes of the world do without them? We can only imagine.”
By nominating an international sporting body for the world’s most prestigious political prize, the Nobel Committee hopes to open the world to the healing ways of sporting competition which, according to their nomination, “lays bare the individual soul of the athlete, while loosening the constricting bond of nationalism which has proven so corrosive to the state of world affairs.”
“I am humbled by this nomination,” said Mr. Diack upon being informed of his selection. “Athletics is a sport that was founded in antiquity, and is still informed by many of the same, age-old principles such as ‘Father knows best’, and ‘Please stay in your room until you are called’. As such, and with this blessing of the Nobel Committee, we will continue to offer dynamic, life-enhancing opportunities for our officials – er, I mean athletes – and promise to be ready for the exciting challenges of the next 100 years.”
The prize will be awarded on December 10th in Oslo City Hall.