Maha Aftab (Pakistan) on Spreading Olympic Values through Youth Exchange Initiatives

July 24, 2012

The Olympics, which is an ultimate test for athletes, the peak of career for sportsmen and a homecoming for the sports community, is a ceremony that brings together more than 200 nations to a single platform and inculcates in them its core values. The Olympic values of excellence, respect, and friendship transcend sports and are truly central in our global age. From the opening ceremony where all the participating countries’ flags are raised and their national anthems play, until the ending ceremony where a multi-national audience cheers for the one winning nation, the extent of the events being focused on bringing unity can be observed. It is also a phenomenal display of hospitality and equality as the host nation leaves no stone unturned for guests’ safety which truly delivers the value of various cultures and the power of unity.
The biggest question that comes to mind when discussing the Olympic values is whether they are applicable in today’s competitive world. While Pierre De Coubertin intended for the values he established to be reflected in our society, we have limited them to only sports and at times they are not even strictly followed in sports either. In the twenty-first century, where the green-eyed monster has overpowered the majority of nations, the Olympics preach fair play, equality, peace, and eminence. To date, it has consistently and impressively dealt with the controversies of politics, violence, and discrimination. Its flag stands strong, proudly displaying its five rings and disseminating the message of intertwined continents and world cooperation.

Looking at the Olympic values and how much they have proved fruitful for improving the world, a need arises that these values must be taught and followed. The Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger” can be taken forward and the youth can properly address and deliver the message worldwide as they comprise approximately 65 percent of the world’s population. One way to bring diverse youth from various countries to a single platform would be the “Olympics Youth Exchange Program.” This program would act as an opportunity for fifteen bright students from each country around the world to unite in one place where they can share their viewpoints, learn through diversity and grow beyond education. This program will infuse the values in those pupils through role-plays, meetings with sportsmen, workshops, and even friendly games. It is the essence of the Olympics that every color is represented in it. The same could be utilized by the participants according to their benefit and the interplay would bring about the best in all the competing nations.

In our life, sports stand out as an important institution and are considered as important in relaying values on to those who participate. Olympic values build in individuals the sense of following legal, moral and ethical norms. The result is that they will create a sense of sportsmanship where we understand that there can only be one winner and the satisfaction is when there is healthy competition.
comments powered by Disqus