AAFSW would like to express our deepest gratitude to the French Embassy in Washington, DC, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Sports Diplomacy Division, and all the speakers and guests who attended our event. Their presence and participation truly made the event a success.
Games of the XXXIII Olympiad (French: Jeux de la XXXIII Olympiade) Paris 2024
Sports and Diplomacy for a Better and More Inclusive World
By Celine Ford, President, AAFSW, December 18, 2023
On the 4th of December 2023, the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) gathered at the Dean Acheson Auditorium to honor the spirit of athleticism and competition embodied by the forthcoming Games of the XXXIII Olympiad. Slated to take place in Paris in 2024, these games are a powerful symbol of how sports can promote diversity and inclusiveness.
Our distinguished panel of speakers shared how the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris will be no different, with athletes from diverse backgrounds, each with their unique stories, competing for the love of their sport. They brought a wealth of knowledge and insights to the discussion.
- Nicole Elkon, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Affairs, brought her extensive experience in cultural affairs to the table, providing valuable insights into the intersection of sports and diplomacy.
- H.E. Ambassador Samuel Ducroquet (recording), French Ambassador for Sport, shared his unique perspective on the role of sports in fostering international relations and promoting cultural exchange.
- Damien Cristofari, First Secretary at the Embassy of France in the United States, set the tone for the event with his welcoming remarks, emphasizing the importance of sports in bridging cultural divides.
- Dr. Lindsay Krasnoff, a sports historian, provided a historical context to the discussion, highlighting how sports diplomacy has evolved over the years.
- Travis Murphy, CEO of Jetr Global Sports + Entertainment, discussed the opportunities that sports diplomacy presents for U.S. foreign policy, shedding light on how sports can be leveraged to further diplomatic goals.
- Andrea Cilliers (recording), Chief of Staff at the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Office for Multilateral Affairs, and former para-athlete, shared her experiences in sports and how they shaped her views on diversity and inclusiveness.
- Nicole Preston, CEO of Special Olympics DC, spoke about the transformative power of sports in empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities.
- Our guest speaker, MacKenzie Coan, shared her inspiring journey in sports, reminding us of the power of determination and resilience.
The meaningful questions raised by our guests further enriched the discussion, sparking thoughtful conversations on the role of sports in promoting diversity and inclusiveness.
As we look forward to the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, let us remember the role model that sports provides. Let us remember that in sports, as in life, our strength lies in our unity. And let us remember that, through sports, we can build a better world. We are truly grateful for the active participation of all participants and look forward to more such engaging events in the future.
All photos by Valentyna Ryan, Office Manager, AAFSW.
See more photos below.