Kubra Ulutas (Turkey) on Using Olympic Values to Promote Women's Participation in Sport

August 10, 2012

The twenty-first century’s children, youth, and adults bring global Olympic values—excellence, friendship and respect—together under the same roof. These three themes form the basis for universal values in different countries of the world.
My twenty-first century dream of Olympic values, regardless of religion, language, race, ethnic origin, political view, age, or physical and mental differences, is an Olympic Movement that supports world peace, friendship, integrity, and excellence and creates an appropriate environment for women's participation in Olympic sports. The Olympic values of the twenty-first century should support the active participation of women in sport and provide a suitable environment for this enterprise. Women’s participation in the Olympic Movement is crucial for sustainable and healthy development.

The Olympic Movement contains important philosophical ideas and universal values in every aspect of women's development. For example, my mother country, Turkey, participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics with two women athletes; it was the first time Turkish female athletes had taken part in Olympics. In 1992, eight Turkish female athletes represented Turkey in the Barcelona Olympics. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, Hulya Senyurt, a Turkish female athlete, reached the podium by gaining a bronze medal in judo. Turkey participated in the 2004 Athens Olympics with 21 female athletes, and Nurcan Taylan went on to win the weightlifting gold medal.

The Turkish experience shows a good conclusion: if we support the participation of women in the Olympic Games, their success will increase. In this sense, The Olympic Movement and the Women theme works, and the development and implementation of strategies is very important. I have a dream of establishing “Olympic Education Model Schools,” especially for women, which would support Olympic spirit. It is also my dream to set up the “Olympic Women's Educational Research Institutes.” Is that too much to ask? Not really; I only dream of the twenty-first century’s charmed Olympic values.

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