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The Olympic Spirit: National Pride

Joined: 2/26/2014
Posts: 1
Americans are the epitome of competitiveness. As we are raised, we are taught to strive for victories in everything we do, from beating other kids in games on the playground to having the most friends to getting the best grades and to simply being the best at anything we do. When I was six, I joined a club soccer team and I was shocked when I realized how competitive the other players were. I did not understand why they cared so much about winning because I was just playing for fun. Soon, however, I caught the fever of striving for victory. This newfound competitiveness was not limited to soccer games, either. At school during recess, I always had to be the best at handball and tetherball. I did not even care about having fun anymore, because I was too busy trying to beat everyone else. A silent change took place, causing the other kids and me to focus less on the fun parts of competition and more on the winning part. Fights broke out between other kids, because they argued over whether or not the other kid cheated or who won- and if they won, was the victory won fair and square, or did they cheat? A cycle spun around and around, and as kids, we began to notice that we were not getting anywhere, and we did not get to play anything anymore, due to the large amounts of fighting we did. None of us were proud to be fighting, and none of us took pride in our groups. As we thought about it, we began to notice that if we worked as a team, we could accomplish more, and over time, the playground turned into a set of a few teams that played against each other. We began to take pride in our teams, and use our pride to unite, becoming a stronger force to be reckoned with. Our playground was a microcosm for the world. The Olympics, perhaps the most famous event in the world, consists of a bunch of countries that compete against each other. What holds the Games together is not simply competitiveness but national pride. The Games inspire people to take pride in their countries and come together with their fellow citizens. The Games encourage nationalism. The Games, though they can also inspire competitiveness, link together the diverse countries of the world through each nation’s individual pride. National pride is the true spirit of the Olympics.
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