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The Olympic Spirit: A Human's Passion is Greater Than Gold

Joined: 2/26/2014
Posts: 1
From the Ancient Olympic tracing back to 776 B.C. to the modern games opening in 1896 and to this day, the Olympics have been a grand showcase of sport, pride, global unity, and the spirit of competition. Certainly there have been times in which the Olympics have landed amongst global conflict leading to Boycotts such as the United States’ boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and acts of terrorism such as those occurring during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Although, those events did not bring an end to the Olympics as the Olympics continue to be seen as a time of peace, a time in which wars stop while the world comes together in order to witness a massive spectacle of human ability.

The games are often viewed as a stage for the greatest athletes of on Earth as they put on shows that will stick with people for years to come. Mark Spitz, a Jewish American swimmer, winning seven gold medals in Munich amidst hostility and fear as Israeli athletes are taken hostage, the United States Men’s Hockey team knocking off the powerhouse Soviet team and proceeding to win the gold in Lake Placid, Jesse Owens standing atop the podium in Berlin during Hitler’s 1936 Olympics, and Michael Phelps putting the world on edge while winning Eight Gold Medals in Beijing certainly stand out as legendary Olympic moments in my mind. These were moments in which athletes not only defied the odds but also set new world standards while representing their country and themselves with an utmost amount of pride. Yet, the true spirit of the games does not need gold medals and memorable upsets in order to be displayed. It is the simple gesture of pouring one’s heart and soul into something that desire, regardless of their place on the podium, that makes the games so special and so historic.

Equatorial Guinea, a small country in West Africa is home to less than a million people and certainly is not known for having any competitive legacy in the Olympics yet, Equatorial Guinea is home to a man who embodies the Olympic spirit greater than any gold medalist or World record holder. Eric Moussambani, an Equatorial Guinea “swimmer”, chose to use the Sydney Olympics in 2000 as his stage in a play displaying the strength of a human’s soul. After a few months of practicing swimming and having very little competitive experience Eric arrived at the Olympics to race. He did not break a world record, and he did not medal, yet he competed with heart and passion, and so, he found greatness within himself. That is the true spirit of the games. Medals and records may create legacies but it is the passion within each human to achieve their own greatness through competition that makes the Games the spectacle that they are to this day. That passion is what stops wars, that passion is what brings the world together, that passion is the Olympic Games.
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