Ceremony to designate Justine Hénin-Hardenne UNESCO Champion for SportBelgian tennis player Justine Hénin-Hardenne will be designated UNESCO Champion for Sport by the Organization’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, on 14 December (5 p.m.) at Roland-Garros, in Paris.
The nomination recognizes Ms Hénin-Hardenne’s personal commitment to the values of excellence, fair play and integrity throughout her athletic career.
Ms Hénin-Hardenne nomination comes in the context of UNESCO’s efforts to fight against doping, educate tomorrow’s athletes in the ethics of sports, and consolidate essential links between education, prevention, ethics and human rights. Ms Hénin-Hardenne, who is from Belgium’s French community, will help promote the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which is soon to come into force.
“I am delighted this exemplary champion has accepted to use her fame to serve the fight against doping in sport and the education of young people. These are major societal challenges that require our entire attention and commitment,” declared Mr Matsuura.
Currently the WTA number one player, a three-time winner of the French Open in four years, Ms Hénin-Hardenne has won 29 titles to date, including the U.S. Open, Australian Open and a Gold Medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic games.
With this designation, Ms Hénin-Hardenne joins the ranks of UNESCO Champions for Sport, including double Olympic judo champion David Douillet, Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher, world pole-vaulting champion Serhiy Bubka, Olympic ice hockey champion Vyacheslav Fetisov and boxing champions, the brothers Vitalyi and Vladimir Klitschko.
A press briefing will take place after the ceremony.
Journalists who wish to attend the designation ceremony at Roland Garros are requested to obtain accreditation from the Press Relations Section.