Sharif Angozy (Kurdistan Region, Iraq) on Olympic Values in the 21st Century

August 11, 2012

From the beginning of the modern Olympic Games to now, the meaning of the Olympic Movement has always strived to support and define the role of sport. Olympic values— excellence, friendship, and respect—have encouraged health and human development. They provide humanitarian assistance and advance women's participation in sport. And they have balanced education, culture, and social relationships.
Excellence is not only about skills but also showing a good attitude toward others without considering their background, culture, health, or ability. Ralph W. Emerson said, “There is always a best way of doing everything.” As a Kurdish, I lived under dictatorship where there was only one excellent person, and others had to follow him. There was not a space for individuals to be excellent, but now the barriers do not exist anymore, so trying to be excellent can change our lives by inspiring us to do our best to reconstruct the country.

Friendship is about understanding people regardless of their backgrounds. The value of friendship means building a better way of life not only through sport but also through exchanging ideas of culture, language, and experience. Clive Staples Lewis stated, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” Friendship is not about politics; it is about competition in a friendly and peaceful way to achieve the best for humanity. A real life example is that in the Olympic Games, there might be a game between Iran and America, North Korea and South Korea, and Israel and Palestine in a peaceful way. All of these prove that friendship starts at the moment that both sides try to forget the differences and work on the similarities to improve the common interest. There is a Kurdish proverb that says, “Before asking about your differences with people, ask about common values.” Applying the proverb in real life makes friendship much stronger than any other thing.

Respect means to accept others’ ideas by trying to understand instead of judging them. Confucius said, “Respect yourself and others will respect you.” This is the underlying moral of the Olympic values. In Iraq, there are many groups with different languages, religions, and cultures. We should apply the Olympic values in the region because they will help us to enrich our country. If people do not have respect toward each other, we will face big conflicts as we have faced in Iraq because people did not respect each other. The best way to solve the conflicts is having respect toward each other.

To sum up, the three values excellence, friendship, and respect are the methods in which Olympic Movement balances sport, culture, and education for the improvement of mankind. They encourage people regardless of their backgrounds and assist them in achieving their personal goals. I am willing to win the Olympic Value Essay Competition to be more familiar with the values above and to be able to apply them on the Kurdish real lives by the time I come back to Kurdistan.
comments powered by Disqus