Suon Dina (Cambodia) on Olympic Values and Future Generations

July 18, 2012

Olympics. The word itself is heard everywhere, and known in every corner of the world as a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. That is what it is thought to be. On the other hand, “Olympics” is considered a masterpiece, which contains the underlying ambition and dream of creating an international movement that would promote an integrated culture of athleticism and education, position sport as a model for peace and harmony, and safeguard a set of values that extend well beyond the playing field. It has relied on three values to create one of the greatest social phenomena of our times. They are excellence, friendship, and respect. These values create inspiration for simplifying the articulation of the Olympics for the 21st century and future generations.
For the individual, the Olympics blends sport, culture, and education to promote the proper and well-balanced development of the body, the will, and the mind. This is known as excellence. The value of excellence refers to striving to be the best in all that we do, as individuals and as groups working toward common goals. In pursuing—and ultimately measuring—excellence, athletes will naturally compare their efforts to that of others. This value stands for giving one's best on the field of play or in the professional arena. It also stands for participating, making progress against personal goals, striving to be and to do our best in our daily lives, and benefiting from the healthy combination of a strong body, mind, and will.

For society, the Olympics places sport at the service of mankind by encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society that preserves and nurtures human dignity. This is known as friendship. The Olympics is, at its heart, about people. It expresses this value by reaching citizens of more than 200 countries and territories and applying a fundamental humanistic approach to all its actions. Its goal is to place men and women at the center of its attention and continually advocate and strengthen links between people. It encourages us to inspire humanity to overcome political, economic, gender, racial, or religious differences and forge friendships in spite of those differences.

For the whole world, the Olympics promotes cross-cultural understanding and fair competition on a global stage. This is known as respect. It is the underlying moral imperative and the ethical principle that should inspire all who participate in its programs. This value incorporates respect for oneself, one's body, others, the rules and regulations, sport, and the environment. Related to sport, respect stands for fair play and for the fight against doping and any other unethical behaviour.

As we can see, the Olympics encourages us to be the best we can be, achieving our personal dreams. Above all, they inspire us to nurture human and personal connections and to become true world citizens. The Olympic values show us the best of humanity and remind us of the part we can play. They also are what give the world hope for a better future.
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