MONDAY 27 NOV 2017 2:32 PM


Fifteen years ago a team that brought a renewed sense of hope to the US in the midst of a long Cold War in turn brought light to the Olympics. The US 1980 Olympic men’s hockey team lit the torch in Salt Lake City to begin two weeks of the toughest winter sports competition on earth. Now, with only 74 days before the Winter Olympics begins in PyeongChang, South Korea, a brand campaign is there to bring light to the Games and to the world.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has partnered with the UNHCR to help bring electric light to the 90% of global refugees in refugee camps that do not have light after dark. The ‘Become the Light’ campaign unites Olympic athletes and activities with refugees worldwide in order to spread the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. It also allows the IOC to work in partnership to not only support the UN’s efforts, but to encourage people to take part in physical activity in the run up to the Games.

“Sport is about building bridges, bringing people together in the spirit of friendship and respect,” Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, says. “In a world of uncertainties, the message that our shared humanity is greater than the forces that divide us is more relevant than ever before. Athletes carry the light and inspire us, giving us all hope that a better world is possible. We are pleased to be able to continue our close cooperation with UNHCR and our support for refugees as part of this campaign.”

The UN’s high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi adds that sport is a ‘lifeline’ for refugees and helps foster a renewed sense of community among those who have had to leave their homes.

‘Become the Light’ features an integrated campaign supported by Publicis London including film, social media and a dedicated digital hub at The goal is to inspire people around the world to sign up and take part in physical activity thereby contributing to the IOC’s goal. After milestones are met, the IOC will donate to the UNHCR’s ongoing efforts to light refugee camps.