Over the past three weeks, the whole world was watching the 2016 Summer Olympics which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Millions of people were following the games, hoping their favorite athlete would win a metal.
I was enjoying this beautiful competition with some friends. I was very excited to see woman and men, black and white, Hispanic and Arabic-all athletes from different ethnicities from all over the world, competing against each other and winning medals for the honor of their country.
Having over 200 countries, 11,000 athletes, and 42 different sport disciplines, shows how strong and powerful this game is and the significant impact it has on the international community. The diversity in the Olympics has shown how people shouldn’t be separated by politics or racism.
“The Olympic Games are about a lot more than sports. They go beyond competition,” Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee said in Rio this week.
This reminds me of another quotation from Nelson Mandela, the former South Africa president who said that “Sports have the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
This year, the Olympics have shown that it is not only a celebration for medal ceremonies and national anthems, but it is the greatest celebration of human achievement and is very powerful in diversity, culture, values, and dreams that we all share.
Congratulations to all the organizers, athletes, and winners. Enjoy your medals an remember how sports can change the world. Diversity is powerful and can bring a lot of positively to this world.
See you in Japan 2020