Not all of us at IC are athletes, but some of us work out. Not all of us are dedicated fans of any sport, but some of us like watching them on TV. What we can all agree on, though, is that the Olympics are a special time – not only for athletes, but for the global community. The purpose is for the world to come together in peace, working hard to win but playing fair. Aiming high for acceptance, tolerance, and a bigger sense of humanity. For this small period of time, the world can forget our differences and look at how we are similar in the spirit of fair play.
With the opening ceremonies on July 27 and the Games continuing until August 12, the world gets to watch the athletically elite compete against each other in the name of their country. While the Ancient Olympic games consisted of only six events and lasted 1-5 days, the modern Olympics features 36 events and spans over two weeks.
Further proving the Games have evolved in their 116 years, Oscar Pistorius will be the first double-amputee runner ever while representing South Africa’s Olympic track team. Women’s boxing will be included in its first Olympic programme with female boxers able to participate in three events, and for the first time in Olympic history, women are represented in all 205 countries that are competing in the Games.
The HOPE exhibition at the Olympic Museum recently said, “…the Olympic Games have a very important symbolic value, and have been associated with promoting peace from the very beginning.” Transcending differences, race, gender, and personal limitations is the very basis of peace, and the equality of the Games gives hope to anyone and everyone that their dreams are attainable. Em.power.ing.
Get ready, world.
I remain convinced that sport is one of the most forceful elements of peace, and I am confident in its future action.
-Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics