Israel Cycling Academy riders are honored to carry the title of “Peace Ambassadors”, given on December 2017 by the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
It is the first time that a professional sports team carries an outright message of peace on their jerseys and the first time that the world-renowned Peres Center for Peace and Innovation will be promoted by a sports team.
The Peres Center was founded in 1996 by the late Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of Israel, Shimon Peres, focusing on peace-building projects in the fields of innovation, peace education, medicine, business, and environment. Tens of thousands of people have participated in the Peres Center’s programs as the organization works towards its goal of a prosperous Israel within a peaceful Middle East and paving the way for shared-living between all of Israel’s citizens and lasting peace between Israel and its neighbors.
“From day one, we have always seen our team obligations reaching beyond the sports world,” said ICA’s Former General Manager, Ran Margaliot. “We have a role as sports ambassadors but also as human ambassadors. We are ambassadors of goodwill, demonstrating the high values of human behavior, and carrying a message of peace.”
The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation stated: “we see great value and importance that this unique professional cycling team is devoted to helping build human bridges across religions and cultures and inspire the young generation of cyclists and others.”
The team founder Ron Baron said that “for us, this move carries the responsibility to demonstrate peace between people from different backgrounds.”
Israel Cycling Academy co-owner, Sylvan Adams, commented: “we are the most diverse team with riders from many countries and five continents. This diversity is emblematic of Israel’s pluralistic society, which is diverse, inclusive, and free. In that way, the team’s inclusive philosophy offers an example of how riders of various backgrounds and cultures can coexist in peaceful sportsmanship and work together towards common goals. This is the model we represent all over the world.”
Former Mexican national champion Luis Lemus enthusiastically agrees: “this title puts a lot of weight on our shoulders. It’s a big responsibility and at the same time an honor: to live and act according to its principles in all aspects of our lives.”