I’m not a sport kind a girl and I won’t watch much of it. But I will watch the opening. I love the concept of the Olympics. That the world can come together and play/compete in peace. I like that…a lot.
But I’ve been wondering other stuff too. About Saudi women being allowed to participate, about the values of the Olympics, and about whether it really is a good idea that we represent our countries…maybe we could just represent ourselves?
These wonderings of mine were prompted by a post and the corresponding comments I read regarding the participation of Saudi women. (http://saudiwoman.me/2012/07/20/two-steps-forward/)
In response to a comment I made supporting all woman who wished to compete a man responded with;
“I do not understand why you insist that they must play sport in front of men.”
That stunned me a bit because never had I perceived women competing in the Olympics in that particular light. For me it is about individuals who want to excel at their chosen sport and reach the pinnacle…that being the Olympics.
I do understand the religious and cultural differences that made this man become so virulent in his support of Saudi laws however this did lead me to wonder about the values of the Olympics (rather than values of different countries)…so I looked them up.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are about much more than sporting excellence. Underpinning the Games is the philosophy of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympic Movement.
He saw in the Games an ideal opportunity to develop a set of universal principles – or Values – that could be applied to education and to society as a whole, as well as to sport itself.
These Values are:
- respect – fair play; knowing one’s own limits; and taking care of one’s health and the environment
- excellence – how to give the best of oneself, on the field of play or in life; taking part; and progressing according to one’s own objectives
- friendship – how, through sport, to understand each other despite any differences
The Paralympic Values are based on the history of the Paralympic Games and the tradition of fair play and honourable sports competition.
You see there is no gender, no religion, no sexual preference, no colour, no political party, not even any nationality divide. Just respect, excellence, and friendship.
Seems a cool thing to aim for.
Regarding representing ones individual self rather that country…it just seems to me that the Olympics are a time when we can come together and celebrate the excelling of individuals and our membership in this quite amazing group called humanity. For this time it doesn’t seem to me that we need the division of geographical boundaries
What do you think?