On the occasion of the 500 days before the Olympic Games, which will take place in Paris in 2024, the French Embassy in Ghana organized an event about sport and skateboarding.
This event is the second in a series of events that are organized in view of the Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games, that France will host.
The French Embassy in Ghana is one of the 90 French Embassies abroad, out of 160, to be labelled “Terre de Jeux 2024”, which is translated as “Land of the Games”, or “Playground of the Olympic Games”.
Every participating Embassy, therefore, organized a sports relay to promote Olympic values and sports practice on the 14th of March, between 9 am and 10 am in their own time zones.
The Embassies virtually received a relay (baton) from countries in the previous time zone, and, at the end of its sports event that lasted 1 hour, gave it to countries in the following time zone.
Ghana received the relay from Benin, Austria, Belgium, and Serbia, and passed it to Cape Verde.
The operation has been widely relayed on Twitter.
🎉 500 DAYS TO GO 🎉
The countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games has officially begun!
A global relay across 50 countries and 128 embassies brought the Olympic spirit to every corner of the world. 🏅🌍🇫🇷#Paris2024 #500DTG #TerresdeJeux2024
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) March 15, 2023
The Embassy of France in Ghana has chosen to honor skateboarding, as it is a new Olympic discipline since the last Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
The event took place at the Freedom Skate Park, the very first fully functional and sustainable skate park in Ghana, which was created in 2021 by Sandy Alibo, a French Caribbean creative, who also founded Surf Ghana, a skate and surf Collective; Skate Gal Club, a free weekly meet-up to teach women skateboarding in Ghana; and Vibrate, a workstation for creatives, including the first community recording studio in Accra.
The Freedom Skate Park has received the support of the French Development Agency (AFD).
Hon. Evans Bobie Opoku, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, and Ben Nunoo Mensah, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, graced the event and delivered a speech, alongside the Ambassador of France to Ghana, HE Jules Armand Aniambossou.
Sport is a priority for French cooperation which is encouraging the development of the sports economy in Africa, a vector of social cohesion and economic development, through different means (participation in building the first skate park in Ghana, financing of swimming sessions for deaf and blind children, provision of sports equipment for psychiatric hospitals, recycling of plastic to build football goal nets.
Sport, like skateboarding, has the potential to empower, motivate and inspire women and men.
It is also transcending national, cultural, and political boundaries. Sport transmits values such as fairness, team building, equality, discipline, perseverance and respect and gives us the tools to shape.
It is a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and promote sustainable development and peace, as well as solidarity and respect for all, values that are of utmost importance in a world confronted to so many conflicts.