Estonian athletes are calling on everyone to support the Ukrainian war refugees with a message #üheskoos (together) to celebrate International Day of Sport for Peace and Development.
More than 3,800,000 people have fled Ukraine due to the war, leaving their homeland and former lives behind. More than 20,000 of Ukraine war refugees have found temporary refuge in Estonia. As athletes, we support their presence here and we want them to feel welcomed. We believe that by joining forces we can get out of difficulties and rise again. We therefore call on the sports people to support the refugees, because only together we are able to overcome this difficult situation.
Among others, the white card message #üheskoos was communicated by the members the Athletes Commission, Olympic champion in the discus throw Gerd Kanter, Olympic bronze winner in rowing Allar Raja and bodybuilder Ott Kiivikas; Olympic champion in épée fencing Irina Embrich, Olympic champion in cross-country skiing Kristina Šmigun-Vähi; Olympic bronze medallist in freestyle skiing Kelly Sildaru, nordic combined athlete Kristjan Ilves, sprinter Karl-Erik Nazarov and Estonian national football team.
The celebration of the 6 April was initiated by the International Olympic Committee and the UN as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. This day is dedicated to how sport can make society better: sport can unite people, contribute to dialogue, and foster care and understanding. The symbol of the day is the white card: while the red card in sports stands for a major violation, on 6 April, athletes all over the world show the white card which symbolises tolerance, caring and positive attitude. In Estonia, the White Card Day is promoted by the Estonian Olympic Committee.