Rate this
4 (3 votes)
The values of the Olympics can inspire us beyond the games
4 out of 5 based on 3 user ratings

The values of the Olympics can inspire us beyond the games

For 17 days; race, religion, politics and all other global issues came second as people around the world were united to cheer for their athletes in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. As athletes continue to celebrate their wins; Alvin Ma, a Commonwealth Correspondent from ​Canada reflects on some values of the games and the need for us to do more through sports.

The Olympic motto: “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together” is special to me. These were the words I wrote to begin my high school graduation message 12 years ago. As we continue to celebrate the many victories of the recently completed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, I think that it is important for us to apply the spirit of Olympism in our lives beyond the games. 

Olympism is a philosophy that values excellence, friendship, and respect. It places sports at the service of humanity through actions that link sport to culture and education. As a steering committee member on the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Network (CYSDP), I understand the inspiration that can come from sport. 

While it is my great wish that sport can consistently live up to the Olympics ideals, in reality, there have been all sorts of controversies that surround mega-sporting events. These range from worker deaths in constructing stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to the stubbornness of the International Olympic Committee in pushing forward with the recently completed Olympics despite opposition from 80 percent of Japanese people. I also believe that there is systemic racism and sexism when female athletes with high natural testosterone levels are forbidden from competing in certain athletic events. 

Despite the issues raised above, we can see the Olympics’ values in establishing the Refugee Olympic Team and raising our athletes’ profiles through the games. But if sports is to truly serve humanity in meaningful ways we must ask questions like, what can people around the world do for refugees aside from giving them a standing ovation at the opening ceremony? How can the International Olympic Committee, politicians, and fans be held accountable when they pledge to tackle racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination? How can we use the Olympic global stage as an opportunity for discussion to further global cooperation? These are questions which we should continue to seek answers for even after the Olympics.

It’s not just the Olympics that have ended, after 8 years my time as a Commonwealth Correspondent has also come to an end, I want to use my final blog to encourage our young people to keep up their hope and idealism. Let us remain persistent in facing the challenges of our times, for succeeding will cause us to be “faster, higher, and stronger.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About Alvin Ma: I’m a research assistant for the Centre for Sport Policy Studies at the University of Toronto. I also teach at a school for international students and serve as a private tutor for many students in various subjects. Nicknamed “Captain,” I try to lead by example. I am an idealist and genuinely believe that students and youth from Commonwealth countries around the world can see a brighter future.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments