Devesh Lalwani (India) on Using Olympic Values to Address Inequality through Art, Education, and Sport

July 31, 2012

“Be a sport” has become a common phrase to encourage someone to make it through obstacles in a variety of circumstances. This showcases how sports are not only physical activities, but are integrating into everyday life. The Olympic Movement over the past 100 years has been successful in strengthening National Olympic Committees to an extent that the Olympic Games are now symbolic of a conglomerate of collaborative participation from over 200 nations, irrespective of their geopolitical stances on the innumerous issues that lay entangled between them.
Over the years, the essence of Olympic values has been progressively affecting the city hosting the Games, stimulating regeneration that has a lasting impact in terms of increased tourism and improved infrastructure. Olympic values can be further realized in the long-term by pledging to host Games only in cities that are under-developed. This would ensure that the true essence of the time and money is realized and that there is a direct benefit to the city by creating a self-dependent economic system supported by factors like tourism and infrastructure, crafting lasting socio-cultural change.

Olympic values through the Games create a dream in the minds of thousands of people every year, which they try to achieve through their sports, education, or by trying something different. This dream does not always confer a winning medal, but it may depict fame and respect to the extent through which people can address a public or private cause. The outcome of this has been that sport and education have now become independent of religion, leading to universalization of knowledge and ideas. One of the ways this can further be accomplished is by creating a mechanism in which the participating countries contribute a small fixed amount towards a fund for enhancing sports and related education in the bottom ten countries on the Olympic table every Olympic season, ensuring that they coincide with the idea of being given a fair chance in terms of resources to prove their potential.

Throughout the years, we’ve come to discover the true potential of art in conveying meaning like no other medium. With that in mind, another idea is for all participating nations in the Games, to submit artwork showcasing their interpretation of the then current theme of Olympics. Further, they should then be published on the official website of the Games, the International Olympic Committee, and social media websites. Sustaining the idea of freedom of expression, this would be a common ground for all participating nations to portray their opinion on an equal footing with others and to address issues on which they might have had varying opinions.

To conclude, we need to understand that the peoples’ understanding the Olympic values is gradually diminishing around the globe, at the same time that our transformation into a global village is happening faster than ever. What is needed is a constant push to encourage values and create the village. Can this be it?
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