Maggie Dunne (United States) on A Glowing Ring of Good

July 10, 2012

The Olympic Games assemble athletes from diverse economic and political arenas that, despite their differences, compete side by side and demonstrate that all humanity is related and committed to the goals of excellence, unity, and mutual understanding. The synergy created by the Olympic Movement presents a tremendous opportunity to help humanity in new ways by taking action to help build a better world and inspiring others to help address global concerns.
Although the world is changing exponentially, poverty remains a constant global concern. In order to transform the Olympic Charter’s stated values into a new form of action, I propose that the participants of each sport collectively designate one charity with reported annual revenues under $1,000,000 dedicated to grassroots efforts, community development, educational initiatives, or other projects targeting impoverished communities. While many large charities work hard to target large issues, there are smaller initiatives around the globe struggling to assist communities that larger charities do not reach.

Bringing the selected charities into the Olympic lens, Olympic athletes will become social ambassadors, “promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity,” and create a tangible impact by raising awareness about lesser-known efforts to help communities around the world.

Ways that the Olympic Movement can promote the designated charities may include the following:
    • Encourage manufacturing companies or licensees to include the charity    alongside any brand or Olympic emblem manufactured for the sport;
    • Promote the charity in creative collaboration with the print and media    partners;
    • Contribute one percent of: ticket sales, general Olympic merchandise sales,    sponsorship fees, and transportation fees (buses, taxis, parking, and other    official costs) to a fund shared by the selected charities;
    • Promote the charities through online networks and text messaging donations    (or contribute one percent of revenues raised for the Olympics through such    means); and
    • Encourage attendees to contribute pocket change as they exit the sports    venue.

This model could be piloted through the collective designation of 4-8 charities by all sports teams, with a view towards further expansion so that each sport has a designated charity in subsequent Olympic Games. If successful, it could be adapted to address other nonpolitical problems facing humanity in subsequent years including, for example: alternative energy, clean energy and water accessibility solutions, the delivery of medical and mental health services to underserved areas, and/or creative and scientific solutions for illnesses and disabilities.

The unity of the five Olympic rings symbolizes that we are one family of humanity. By acting upon the Olympic Charter’s values through this kind of proposed action, the measure of successful Olympic impact will expand to encompass a new dimension—that of tangible impact on poverty and other global problems—and the Olympic rings will emanate a glowing ring of good that transcends politics and serves humanity, consistent with the values and goals of Olympism.
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