Ramon Clayton (Jamaica) on Olympic Values in Today’s World

June 28, 2012

The concept of the Olympics was geared toward a simple but efficient goal: bringing the world’s greatest athletes under one roof to compete in an array of sporting activities with the aim of bringing success to their country.
Nevertheless, we look to another aspect of this triumph of human existence, which has been influential in shaping our ideologies as we journey toward finding out the truth behind the values that motivate today’s world. Olympic values for the twenty-first century may thus be regarded as a representation of the development of mankind’s progression toward achieving a common goal, the security of knowing we have done our best in ensuring the continued existence of mankind free from inhumanity, famine, and disease, and a showcase of our hard work in a spirited race towards the finish.

The thrilling 4 x 100 meter sprint relay where each nation’s best athletes gather on one track, working together to ensure the baton is passed safely and securely to the other member of the team, would be the ideal framework for conceptualizing these values, with the major features of a relay race representing the different values. One track represents a level playing field, an egalitarian arena where all states will have an equal say regardless of any factor. The United Nations is an established and unified body that seeks to represent this level playing field, but there are certain discrepancies that must be addressed to ensure the total collaboration and involvement of all countries of the world that seek Olympic values. Having solved them, this would indeed be the perfect moment to start the race.

The beginning of the race represents sports. This avenue is used to teach discipline, dedication, and hard work while allowing for the breaking down of social, racial, and economic barriers that exist in society. Here the focus would lay solely on a strong performance. The second leg of the race is regarded as the most important and thus where education would be best suited. In realizing our Olympic values, we must educate the populous about the steps that will be taken to achieve nation building and sustainability so as to allow for unity in growth. On the third leg we place our values; having already successfully become disciplined, hardworking, and educated, our values will somewhat change based on our circumstance as we seek to achieve our goals. Finally, the fourth leg can represent the spread of information through technology. Information technology has been highly influential in the twenty-first century and the emphasis on its advancement could only lead to benefits that would allow us to realize our Olympic values.

The stage is set and the arena is ready. Each leg of this race is just as important as the next. Let us not hesitate to secure what escapes us all, what every athlete dreams of; let us secure our Olympic dreams.
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