Ukwuegbu Chijioke (Nigeria) on Promoting the Olympic Values

August 21, 2012

Out of the locker room and onto the track field. You look around at the magnificent Wembley, filled with 80,000 supporters all chanting and cheering your name. This is the 100-meter final. The moment you’ve been waiting for! Just as the referee picks up his gun, clears his throat, and shouts “On your marks, get set …” you begin to have this nostalgic feeling. You remember watching your first Olympics at age four, the endured long hours of rigorous training. For that brief moment, the world stands by you; you have earned the respect of all of humanity. No other event can promote these golden values of friendship, respect, and excellence like the Olympics.
The Olympics are much more than a sporting event. They are a global platform designed to promote certain values through sports. These Olympic values are: friendship, respect, and excellence.

Friendship is the emotion that binds countries. No matter what religion or country, the value of friendship inspires us through sports to generate understanding and true companionship. Music festivals like the iTunes Music festival and Live8 concert have shown how we can use music to foster friendship. Increasing the number of global music festivals and including more national acts to perform would better promote the Olympic value of friendship across the world. This is because whenever we listen to music, be it Afrobeats or hip-hop, we are united in the song, and for that moment we see everyone around us as friends.

Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by his or her abilities, qualities, or achievements. We should respect different cultures, religions, the environment, and rules and regulations. Respect elicits honesty, an important attribute in everyday life. Events like sporting festivals (the Olympics, the World Cup), Carnivals (Brazilian Carnival), or educational exchange programs (Fulbright) should be promoted as cross-cultural interactions and are a way we can promote the Olympic value of respect in this twenty-first century. This is because they allow us to interact with various cultures and respect our differences. Chelsea F.C. earned the world’s respect when they, against all odds, lifted the 2011/2012 Champions League trophy.

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding. Whatever quality we have should be pushed to its limits in order for us to become the best. Little kids should be encouraged to ethically thrive to achieve their dreams, and made to know the rewards of excellence. Global recognition of men and women who ethically pushed themselves to the limit promotes excellence. It is very important that global awards like the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer be fair and awarded to the best. Promoting more of these awards will encourage humanity to harness its potential.

These Olympic values should be allowed to pervade all aspects of our lives and to be promoted beyond the Olympics. Global music festivals, educational exchange programs, the internet, and international sporting festivals promote a culture of respect and friendship and are some of the ways we can promote the Olympic values in this twenty-first century.
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