Saturday, 22 May 2004

The Spirit of Olympism

two days ago, i attended this long and boring talk in school and a mention was made about the "Spirit of Olympism".. since the Olympics are coming, I decided to read up a little about this rather abstract concept and stumbled upon, serendipitously, this wonderful website..

Olympic Spirit

it suddenly dawned on me that ALL that i ever believed in, in terms of personal achievement, global peace, and a world where all can work together and play together in brotherhood can actually be summed up in the single term "Spirit of Olympism"!

Essentially, the Olympic Spirit encompasses:

- the desire to better oneself physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually, i.e. individual efforts to conquer distance, time, physics, and self-defeating attitudes.

- the spirit of cooperation, understanding, and unity, i.e. the promotion of world peace, consisting of learning to respect one another's unique qualities, to work for another's success, to partake of one another's wisdom, and to aspire to live together in harmony as members of the human family.

In Detail:

What is Olympism?
Olympism, though new to many, was coined by the originator of the modern Olympic Games, French educator, Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937):

"Olympism is not a system; it is a state of mind.
It can permeate a wide variety of modes of expression
and no single race or era can claim to have a monopoly on it.

More than the Games.
Baron de Coubertin's dream was to create in the youth of the world a personal attitude of self worth and dignity that would extend far beyond the formal Olympic Games themselves. His consuming thought was to celebrate the health, values, and athletic talent of youth, to honor the individual athlete, and to unite the communities of the world in peace. It was his hope that through sport, the youth of the world would become better acquainted with the nations and peoples of other countries without regard to sex, race, color, or religious beliefs. Ultimately, this harmonious discipline of body, mind, and spirit helps each person to understand, as Socrates said, "His chief and proper concern: Knowledge of himself and the right way to live."

True Competition.
A second attribute of Olympism is the development the ability to play fair as one plays for fun. As in the ancient Games, animosity and hatred are put aside during the Olympic Games as individual athletes compete against themselves to excel for the pride of their nation.

The Ideals of Olympism.
Baron de Coubertin summarized the Spirit of Olympism in five ideals which were established as a part of the first modern Olympic Games held in 1896. These goals continue to shape the Spirit of Olympism today:
- To help develop better citizens through the building of character that accompanies participation in amateur sports.
- To demonstrate the principles of fair play and good sportsmanship.
- To stimulate interest in fine arts through exhibitions, concerts and demonstrations during the games, and in so doing contribute to a well-rounded life.
- To teach that sports are played for fun and enjoyment.
- To create international friendship and good will that would lead to a happier and more peaceful world.

isn't this just so wonderful? :).. or maybe i'm a dreamer.. if so, yes, i dream of World Peace and i believe that one day, we might just have it.. hopefully in MY lifetime..... i wonder if they will uphold the spirit of "ekecheiria", "the sacred truce" this year...

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