International Sambo Federation Athletes’ Commission member Laure Fournier has become a Peace and Sport Champion for Peace ©FIAS

International Sambo Federation (FIAS) Athletes' Commission member Laure Fournier has said it is an honour to have followed in the footsteps of Russia's Fedor Emelianenko, one of the sport's biggest stars, in becoming a Peace and Sport Champion for Peace.

The Frenchwoman was announced as one of the new entries into the "Champions for Peace club" today.

It comes approximately six years after multiple world combat sambo champion Emelianenko of Russia was inducted.

"When FIAS first told me about becoming a Champion for Peace, I was hugely proud because before it was Fedor Emelianenko and he is like the most renowned person in sambo," Fournier, a three-time world medallist, told insidethegames.

"It is really a pleasure to get international recognition after him."

Fournier said she believes her work for fellow FIAS Athletes' Commission member María Guédez's foundation in Venezuela, which helps the poorest children in the likes Valencia and Carabobo to have a better life, has contributed towards her achieving the title of Champion for Peace.

"I have quite a few contacts around the world and the will to develop different projects and relate it to Peace and Sport and sambo and peace," she added.

"Those are the main reasons, I guess, why they gave me this really nice position."

Laure Fournier, right, has worked for the foundation of Venezuela's María Guédez, left ©FIAS
Laure Fournier, right, has worked for the foundation of Venezuela's María Guédez, left ©FIAS

Asked about her responsibilities in her new role, Fournier explained that there are "many ways" to be a Champion for Peace.

"The one I've chosen is to support different projects around the world that will link sambo and peace, so either creating the project myself or finding people that already have projects and supporting them in terms of communication and going on site for promotional events and so on," she said.

Peace and Sport describes Fournier as an "iconic athlete in her sport", dividing her time between her career as a top-level athlete and her job as a business development engineer.

"Able to adapt to different environments, she brings her savoir-faire and her selfless dedication to our Champions for Peace club," the organisation adds.

Launched in 2009 by Peace and Sport, the "Champions of Peace club" brings together high-level, active or retired, athletes who want to put sport and their experience at the service of peace. 

Fournier was one of nine athletes to join today along with the likes of former Ivory Coast football team captain Didier Drogba.

The club now brings together more than 100 athletes.

"Coming from different disciplines, countries and background, their new energy will strengthen the club and the peace-through-sport movement," Peace and Sport claims.