Nicky Clark (New Zealand) on Creating Balance and Unity through Olympic Values

July 23, 2012

Olympic values are a foundation for high performance. Athletic individuals from countries all over the world compete in a fair, safe, and controlled environment. The values of the Olympics have provided a well-respected environment for individuals to progress, and work toward and achieve goals above and beyond the simple aspect of survival and existence. The Olympics have created a meaning, goal, and reward to the hard work, endurance, and sacrifices that so many great athletes endure to reach a globally prized goal—from the smallest countries in the Pacific to the largest countries in the Atlantic.
Olympic values in the twenty-first century have grown from an ancient need for competition and entertainment into a proud heritage humankind can share together. Humans develop and prosper in groups. In isolation, an individual can survive and sustain his existence, regardless of imbalance in relation to the elements of mind, body, and character. At some stage, however, this imbalance will force the individual to rectify the inequities or suffer and decline ultimately toward death. The first value of the Olympics—the balance of mind, body, and character—is not a new ideal and is reflected in indigenous cultures around the world. In Maori culture in New Zealand, the model of four elements of the individual by Durie ‘Whare Tapa Wha’ embodies this very meaning. Taha Wairua (spiritual health), Taha Tinana (physical health), Taha Hinengaro (psychological/conscious self) and Taha Whanau (family), are values that are still cherished in today’s society by this indigenous culture.

The values of the Olympics are important in maintaining this fair and safe environment for the world’s best athletes to compete in. In a world that is currently in such strife and chaos, these values are significant in bringing citizens of all countries together to share something special, to share a nation's pride and a sense of unity as one race: the human race. In the twenty-first century, the need for respect toward others and a place where there is joy in effort is crucial to the ending of such fighting and war. By continuing to grow and by encouraging the use of sport for development and not just sport development, these values can become the worldwide vehicle for non-harmful, friendly competitiveness. Used to teach youth of the twenty-first century about the historical differences that have caused such pain and tragedy, they can endeavor to challenge people to strive for developing worldwide unison and economics.

The Olympic values represent the true meaning of universal Hauora (in health). With such advances in many areas such as technology and world warfare, it is the one true globally shared occasion where we, as humankind, can show our true unenhanced and unbiased talent and achievements. These values are important and significant to the peaceful development of world relations into and through the twenty-first century.

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