Some states – including Austria – apparently want to have Russian and Belarusian athletes excluded from the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. An absurdity, which is in blatant contradiction to the Olympic idea, criticizes a non-partisan initiative that calls on the Austrian federal government to reverse course in an open letter. The authors warn that the Olympic movement has always been a movement of peace. The exclusion of athletes because of their nationality is accordingly a completely wrong signal. The letter can be signed as part of a survey – almost 2,900 Austrians have already agreed to it.
Below you can read the open letter, which is also supported by Report24:
Open letter to the Austrian Federal Government.
This is not our Austria.
That’s not our mindset.
An open letter to Federal Minister Werner Kogler and Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
Dear members of the Federal Government, Minister Kogler as Minister for Sport, Federal Chancellor Nehammer as Head of Government and Chancellor
It is with incredulous horror that we learn from the Austrian media that Austria will apparently join a minority of 30 countries that will support the Olympic Committee for the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and the qualifying competitions before that.
If this report is correct, it is an outrageous moral and human scandal, a clear violation of the perpetual neutrality enshrined in our State Treaty, and a downright perverse contradiction to the origin and aim of the Olympic Games.
What your government represents here in terms of mentality is a disgrace for our country both internally and externally, is not the will and attitude of the Austrian people and is one hundred percent against our inner convictions and our moral values.
The Olympic thought is:
Every four years, people from all over the world come together to celebrate the greatest of all games.
Connected in sport, the athletes of every country should compete in their disciplines through wars and crises.
The Olympic Movement is a movement of peace centered on man, whatever the nation, with his physical strength, willpower and creative spirit.
Do you, Minister Kogler, as a narrow-minded supporter of ever further escalation through the delivery of ever heavier weapons, still understand the meaning of these words?
Do you, Chancellor Nehammer, understand the irrational contradiction between the idea of the Olympic Games and the official position of the Republic of Austria, which is represented by your government?
Have the members of the federal government forgotten their oath of office to the constitution of the republic, to the state treaty that forms the basis of our republic and in which Austria has committed itself to permanent neutrality?
As representatives of our country, isn’t it clear to you that you are leading our Austria into a small group of states that oppose the position of the overwhelming majority of the international community?
Don’t they know that 159 out of 189 countries in the world do not support this exclusion and that you are contradicting the interests of our country with this completely wrong attitude?
As humans, have you completely lost your moral compass in the last few months?
Precisely because a terrible war is raging in Ukraine, in which innocent young people are senselessly losing their lives on both sides for power politicians and interest groups, the peaceful participation of young athletes in the competitions before and at the Olympic Games is so important.
Precisely because young people on both sides are indoctrinated with hatred and fear of the other side, joint sporting and peaceful measuring in fair competitions is so urgently needed.
Precisely because there is currently little chance of mutual understanding for the mutual interests in the leadership of the countries involved in this war, it is a duty to support the idea of the Olympic idea that unites peoples and not to actively torpedo it.
Sport must remain free of political, ideological and religious interests and disputes!
The demanded exclusion of athletes because of their nationality is morally and humanly wrong and is sending the completely wrong signal right now!
The fact that Austria, as a neutral country, supports this completely wrong attitude is a scandal in itself.
We absolutely do not agree with this decision of the Austrian federal government. As human beings and as Austrian citizens, we expressly distance ourselves from this attitude.
We call on you, as the responsible ministers and the other members of the Austrian federal government, to change this attitude on behalf of and in the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population and, on the contrary, to publicly advocate the participation of all athletes from all countries, but especially the warring parties.
Sports and athletic competitions in the spirit of the Olympic movement are one of the few remaining ways to at least tentatively combat the aftermath of this terrible war. The exclusion of athletes does exactly the opposite.
An Austria that supports the initiative that athletes are excluded from participating in international competitions and especially the Olympic Games because of their citizenship is not our Austria.
That’s not our mindset.
With respect to your office, we remain
Gerald MARKEL, entrepreneur
Max J. PUCHER, on behalf of Union sovereignty
“We EMUs”, Entrepreneur Platform
(represented by President Andreas GASS and Vice President Bernhard COSTA)
Alexander TODOR-KOSTIC, Lawyer/Vision Austria
Gernot STROBL, lawyer
Gerhard PÖTTLER, Health Economist/List We are Salzburg
Wolfgang SENDLHOFER, film producer and director
Florian MACHL, Journalist
Harald NEJDL, lecturer and military analyst
GDR. Martin HADITSCH, specialist
GDR. Michael STELZEL, specialist
Christian STANGL, extreme mountaineer, mountain guide
And the signatories to the survey.
You can take the survey and sign the letter on the Sovereign Media website. The demographic information is voluntary, but makes it possible to create an actually representative survey. You will be saved anonymously and not together with the person who voted.
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