Melissa Kartahardja (New Zealand) on Olympic Values in the Twenty-First Century: Thinking Outside The Box

August 2, 2012

In the twenty-first century, the values of the modern Olympic Games are not only limited to winning the Games, but also to strive for excellence, to build friendships, to inspire others, and to show sportsmanship and equality. The Olympic Games show excellence from the athletes who represent their own countries at the grandest competition in the world, as well as from the grand Olympic venue itself. The Games also allow athletes to build friendships, inspire others by their accolades, compete with the highest standard of sportsmanship, and show equality by allowing disabled athletes to compete in the Paralympic Games. More importantly, the Olympic Games demonstrate peace by having the athletes respect others. The Olympic Games used to be boycotted by countries that had different political views. It is now a great opportunity for countries to put aside their differences.
To maintain the quality of the Olympic Games and perhaps to make it better, it is important for us as the new generation to “think outside the box:” creating ways to help others realize the Olympic values. In the twenty-first century, with advanced technology and transportation systems, it is possible to hold the Olympic Games in more than one country. This could create peace between countries, as well as giving the athletes experience in different countries. And by connecting people through social media, we could create “The Olympic Idol” award, which would be given to a favorite athlete through voting. The Olympic Idol could show that a great athlete is not only honored by winning, but also honored because of his/her personality and sportsmanship.

Additionally, it is very important to acknowledge the Olympic values to the younger generation. For example, we can demonstrate equality in school by having sports games where girls, boys, and the disabled play together in a team. It is also notable that almost every child plays electronic games these days. Many of these games feature the Olympic Games, but there are hardly games about the Paralympics. It is understandable if one does not want to play as a disabled person, but there are many gamers who are disabled, and playing an able person in the game may not encourage them. Developing such a game could inspire them to take part in sport and help them to love themselves.

To build friendship, it might be also good to create one or two social days for Olympic athletes at the Olympic Village. Apart from the Olympic Games themselves, building peace can be done through a cultural festival where athletes can show and exchange each other’s cultures through film, dance, music, or souvenirs. Friendship can also be built for the athletes through activities such as planting trees or baking together.

Overall, there are many ideas to realize the Olympic values, which have not yet been discovered. However, in years ahead, as new generations and technologies grow, the Olympic values will be realized through more creative ideas that we have. So, realizing them is never too late, as long as we keep “thinking outside the box!”
comments powered by Disqus