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The Olympic Spirit: A Universal Language

Joined: 2/23/2014
Posts: 4
Gathered around my aunt's television set, my family and I breathlessly watched the plethora of flips, jumps, and spins, powdered snow flying everywhere. My eyes grew brighter and fuller with each artistic twisting of torso, with every elegant dress a figure skater wore. When I sprinkled sugar on my pancakes, I dreamt of one day being permitted to run onto a ski course to make snow angels. I loved the Olympics.
As I grow older, I have noticed the Olympics begin to take on greater meaning, to become part of an overarching big picture eight-year-old me could never grasp. It is not simply a sporting event; the Olympics is a language, capable of global proportions.
With over 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, it seems understandable that communication discrepancies happen so frequently. The language barrier is a puzzling one, and especially as a teenager fluent only in English, I find myself using hand gestures and online translating dictionaries in order to effectively get my message across. But, when I watch the perspiration bead on the foreheads of athletes pushing for the Gold medal, using every ounce of strength to win, I smile at the irony. During the fleeting seconds when the athletes compete, language falls into a priority abyss and becomes irrelevant. Funnily enough, it is these moments that hold the key to a universal language, a linguistic approach all of the world's denizens understand.
The beauty of the Olympics is that it epitomizes humanity. Though we cannot always associate meaning with the sounds the tongues of other cultures make, we can all understand emotions. The triumph of winning, the giddy smile that spreads across the face of the champion, is beautiful. We all feel the pain when an athlete falls, even if he or she is of a different nation. While the Olympics require that the competitors physically meet in one geographic location, the broadcasting of the Olympics around the world allows us all to emotionally coalesce. Even though we cheer for our respective countries, we still come together in a way that, without the quadrennial sporting event, would be impossible. When the representatives compete both athletically and artistically, we all speak the same language. We understand the movement of their bodies and the progression of their emotions, and we respond accordingly.
It is this universal communication that will cause world peace. The ability to work through disputes is possible once we achieve a global, emotional acceptance. While it is idealistic to think that one day all the nations of the world will agree, the Olympic spirit truly captures the essence of global understanding. For a little over two weeks, everyone has the ability to celebrate the traditional Greek games, and to appreciate the Olympics for what it truly is: a universal language.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Olympic Spirit essay being chosen as 1 of the essays in the running for 1st place in this month’s writing competition. This is a huge accomplishment, so please feel free to share your “runner up” status with the world.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field. If you are selected as the winner of this month’s competition, we will contact you directly via the email you used for registration. We will be contacting the winner by Friday, March 14th.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time”

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 7:10:15 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your “A Universal Language” Olympic Spirit essay being selected as our second place winner for the month of February.

Be proud of your accomplishment!

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and keep writing.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 6:14:47 PM
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