Ariana Andrews (New Zealand) on International Cooperation Inspired by Olympic Values

August 25, 2012

In the world we currently live in, it seems that the Olympics is one of the few ways in which we are able to see a real unity throughout the world. Regardless of culture, beliefs, age, sex, gender, nationality, political opinions, or many of the other divisive features of this world, we are able to come together and celebrate, and more importantly, embrace our differences. The Games give us a chance to see greatness and human excellence, and also feel a sense of pride as we watch our star athletes on the world stage. And with all this comes an overwhelming sense of wonder.
I believe that the Olympics have transcended their chief function as an international sports tournament, and instead represent unity and a chance for each country to be proud. As the Games commence, participants from each country walk around the stadium, flag held high, and stand together. This symbolizes what the current world desperately needs—something that we can all stand together for, and perhaps one day we may even be able to do so outside of the arena.

I do not believe that through sports alone we will be able to create world peace; indeed, that concept may never be achieved. We will, however, be forced to work together in the future due to events such as climate change and increasingly scarce food, water, and energy resources. It is up to world leaders to set the stage for greater cooperation; however, it is also the responsibility for each of us to see the future we want to create. Furthermore, we need to commit to working together and making the effort to get there. We need only look at the uprisings in the Middle East to see that this is not only possible, but achievable.

I believe that increasing international cooperation is a key part of moving into the future. This can be put into action through increasing youth involvement not only in sports but many other activities including those on an international stage. This would include greater participation in youth politics and local and community events. Another key factor would be greater education about other cultures, religions, and overall experiences of others in situations different to yours. It is also important to increase awareness of national and global issues and have a greater understanding of more recent historical events that have come to shape the world today and the way different countries interact with each other.
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