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GEF President addresses participants of the "Our Safe Sport Journey" symposium in Antwerp

The President of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF), Micheline Calmy-Rey, today welcomed the participants of the "Our Safe Sport Journey" symposium, co-organised by the FIG and the Royal Belgian Gymnastics Federation at the sidelines of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships currently taking place in Antwerp (Belgium). The symposium brings together gymnasts, coaches, representatives of National Federations and researchers from around the world on pressing safeguarding issues.

After having explained the GEF mission and services, Micheline Calmy-Rey said:

"We are all here to contribute to a safer sport, each in our own way, from our vantage point. Our common challenge is a significant one. Its complexity can be compared to battling climate change: success can only be achieved through common action of both individuals and institutions. In establishing our strategic framework, GYMNASTS 2028, we put gymnasts at the center of no fewer than 27 categories of institutions, and 17 groups of individuals. Viewed through this lens, we recognise how complicated this challenge is."

She added:

"Viewed through an interpersonal lens, however, the picture is much simpler. Ultimately, it is simply about personal respect for one another. RESPECT is the common element that has, at one time or another, been missing from the behavior of individuals OR institutions in each of the 150-odd cases the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation has had to address since its inception."

Micheline Calmy-Rey further explained:

"Our theory of change is based on establishing a CULTURE OF RESPECT in the sport by ensuring that the resolution of every case brought to our attention contributes to awareness of the need for change, and ultimately positive change itself. But we need the help of everyone in this room, and all those each and every one of you works with."

Read the full speech here:

MCR Speech SSJ Seminar 3Oct23
Download PDF • 159KB

Learn more about Gymnasts 2028: Strategy | GEF (


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