PARIS – Former two-time heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and current IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will be named UNESCO Champions by Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of the organization, on Monday, Dec. 4. Many celebrities, politicians and athletes are expected to attend the event.
The designation of the Klitschko brothers is a tribute to their exceptional success in boxing, their long-term commitment on behalf of the less-privileged, their exemplary efforts to promote and support UNESCO’s “Education For Children In Need’’ program and their valuable contribution to furthering the organization’s ideals and objectives.
In August 2006, the Klitschko brothers traveled to Namibia to promote educational activities for the children of the San community, who are among the most isolated and underprivileged in the north and west of the country. In 2004 and 2005, the brothers lent support to a UNESCO project in Romania. In 2002, they helped a project in Brazil. In addition, they have created several foundations in Ukraine that benefit children and sport.
Before successfully defending his heavyweight titles against previously unbeaten Calvin Brock Nov. 11, 2006, Wladimir announced he would donate part of the revenue of ticket sales from that fight to UNESCO’s “Education For Children in Need.’’ During the Dec. 4 ceremony, he will present a check for $285,000 to the Director-General.
Other UNESCO Champions for Sport include Ukrainian pole-vaulter Sergei Bubka, Russian hockey player Viatcheslav Fetisov and German Formula One racer Michael Schumacher. Brazilian soccer player, Pelé, has been UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador since 1994. These athletes spread UNESCO’s message the world over. In this way, they focus media attention on UNESCO’s goal to promote the values of physical education and sport to build a better future for young people