Rhoda Ennin (Ghana) on Olympic Values for the Twenty-First Century

August 16, 2012

In the face of war, mediocrity, and disrespect, the Olympic values of friendship, respect and excellence are just what the world needs in the twenty-first century.
The Olympic Games is one of the greatest opportunities this world has ever had to foster friendship and promote respect and excellence.

This is a time when people get together under one umbrella, sport, to engage in healthy competition. This is a time when people from all over the world forget about differences of gender, race, culture, religion, educational background, and economic status to create friendships, built on mutual respect while at the same time striving for the best for their individual nations. If this is possible in sport, why then should it be so difficult for people to take these same values into consideration when dealing with other issues? There is the need to borrow Olympic values in the world today and indeed there is a lot of opportunity to do so. Olympic values should be taught everywhere to both adults and children alike. These are the values that ought to be adopted by the media and not the vice of inciting politicians against each other. Creating platforms where people of different genders, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds can learn and interact with each other while at the same time learning and inculcating values of friendship, respect, and excellence.

It is important to introduce these values into school curricula, to teach children how to build friendships with others in spite of their differences and also to respect others and not just tolerate them; while at the same time teaching them to strive for the best in all aspects of their lives not only for themselves, but for their nation and the world at large.

World leaders should take advantage of sports such as the Olympic Games, the World Cup, African Cup of Nations, and the European Cup to foster friendships and pave way to discuss other sensitive issues pertaining to their countries. Perhaps taking some time away from the rigid, formal and conventional ways of doing things would ease tension a bit and do them some good. At the end of the day, friendships would be formed, respect exchanged, and the best attained for all parties involved.

Global partnerships should be formed and should consider organizing forums for youth of member countries, from all walks of life to come together under the banner of sports and in the spirit of healthy competition, without having to assume an attitude of formality, without any feelings of inferiority or superiority based on economic prowess and regardless of gender, religious or political affiliation and where everyone has equal opportunity. This can surely pave the way for the Olympic values to be part of our everyday life and make the world a better place.

All is fair in love and war? How about all is fair in love and sports?
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