Bianca Benitez (Paraguay) on The Value of the Olympic Games in the Twenty-First Century

June 26, 2012

The value of the Olympic Games in the twenty-first century must point continually to the achievements of mankind by people who strive to overcome the limits of physical capacity. The Olympics is the only global event able to gather together more 200 countries. In the future, the motto of the Olympic Games should represent both the spirit of sporting achievement and the inspiration for solutions to the growing challenges of our time. The Olympics should respect ecological limits and cultural biodiversity as well as create a sustainable legacy for the local and global community.
The legacy that the Olympics should leave should be to raise awareness about the need for change in all areas, but particularly focus on one of the biggest problems we have today: global warming. We live in a world that is facing unprecedented environmental challenges. The struggle to succeed against damage and destruction is everywhere: floods, droughts, landslides, tsunamis.

We must educate humanity about the importance of sustainable development. There is no doubt that cities will be the protagonists in developing practical solutions for an enhanced green economy in the twenty-first century. Many cities have plans on sustainability and long-term climate change. This change requires a different way of facing problems—encouraging dialogue.

The Olympic Games are a showcase for new brands of green governance capable of the greening of the economy. London 2012 can show the rest of the world that Europe is a partner that can help the ecological modernization of its economy. The Olympic Games provide us with a useful technological environment in which we can experiment and learn how we can address these global problems. We must make the Olympic Games part of the solution to these challenges in the future because they have a great impact worldwide.

The Olympics, as you can see, is the springboard for nations to leap into a green economy. It is important to build trust among entrepreneurs who are willing to develop their activity and creativity to face the challenges of sustainability and who consider sustainability as a comparative advantage. The values of the Olympics Games can play a significant role when it comes to instilling new concepts and changing attitudes in the consciousness of society. There are many solutions to global warming and how to create a strong campaign for a greener economy using the Olympic Games. One of the most symbolic acts may be a "Power Saving Competition" in which athletes from the Olympics Games use the least amount of energy and eventually evaluate the departments that used less energy. In this way the Olympics would give a huge message about improving the quality of the environment.

Other activities that could be made, not just in poor countries like Paraguay, but throughout the world, would promote the proper use of green spaces and recycling and a greater understanding of sports.

The year 2012 was the first year in which Paraguay was building cultural and green centers made from plastic bottles. We must educate and engage young athletes, inspiring them to play an active role in their communities and to adopt and own the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect for others and nature. We must stop the abuse of our planet, and work as a team to make it a better place for present and future generations.
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