“If we remain climbers, with our values, with our humbleness, with our resilience, with our determination, with our discipline, we will find the holds.”
Dear Climbers, dear Friends,
I hope you are all in good health and spirits.
2022 is coming to an end. Today - thanks to technology - I have the pleasure to spend a few minutes together with all of you.
2022 was a great year, in terms of events and participation, with a rich calendar, that took us around the world.
Athletes – as usual - were at the center of our life.
In addition to our events, we focused on their health. We invested around forty thousand Euros in research and screening and soon we will be in the position to adopt protective measures where needed. Because athletes must be protected, before, during and after their career.
Athletes’ safeguarding is also paramount for us. We cannot count on the hope that our sport is immune to harassment, and we want to cancel any possible grey zone.
We count on a zero-tolerance commitment of our National Federations and consequent behavior, with strict regulations and provisions.
Let’s stay vigilant.
At institutional level, after the General Assembly in Salt Lake City in March, we have gone through a review process, regarding several areas inside our organization.
The Statutes are under revision, as well as Ethics and Disciplinary provisions and regulations.
We are redesigning our structure, dating back to 2009, looking for the harmony among its different parts: the Executive Board, the Continental Councils, the office and the IFSC Team.
Fruits of this labor will be evident in 2023.
While we are concentrating on the inside, we cannot ignore the outside.
We cannot ignore the big threats generated by the climate changes.
We cannot ignore discrimination and violated human rights.
We cannot ignore that since more than ten months people are killed in Ukraine.
We cannot ignore that some athletes and some members of our community are suspended from participation in the IFSC activities, as a measure following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The consequences of all this are in front of us every day: terror, death, pain and sorrow.
We do not forget the millions of refugees, not only from Ukraine, and those dozens of climbers who had to leave their countries and need a place to stay, to train, to climb.
In these troubled times, the question for the Olympic Movement is to identify and to define the role of sport in society.
It is a debate that will go on in the months to come.
The outcome will be the picture of the sport of tomorrow.
Approaching the 2022 closing, we move toward 2023 and its challenges.
Our athletes will climb up to their dreams, to make them come true, in search of a ticket to Paris 2024.
The Olympic qualification path begins in August, in Bern, with the World Championship.
In 2023, the participation in the Asian Games, the European Games, the Pan American Games will give the opportunity to our member federations to strengthen their connection with their National Olympic Committees, or to create it when missing.
In 2023 our paraclimbers will know if the IFSC is invited to the Paralympic Games of Los Angeles 2028.
2023 also represents a turning point.
If we remain climbers, with our values, with our humbleness, with our resilience, with our determination, with our discipline, we will find the holds. One after the other, we will continue to climb: higher, stronger and faster.
Our capacity to learn from each other, as well as from others, creates our awareness.
If we are able to protect our integrity, our inclusiveness, our mutual respect, then we can be leaders by example in the world of sport.
I never tire of repeating that it depends on us, on us only.
Before turning off the lights, I want to thank my fellow colleagues of the IFSC Executive Board for their valuable contribution to the development of the IFSC and to its governance.
And my praise, my appreciation, and my deep gratitude go to the IFSC Team, the IFSC Crazy Dream Team, that makes the IFSC great every day.
Merry Christmas to all.
May 2023 bring peace to the world and serenity to your families and into your lives.
I believe that our best climbs are yet to come.
Marco Maria Scolaris, IFSC President
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