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The Olympic Spirit: I'm Not Talking the Competition Part

Joined: 2/26/2014
Posts: 2
Sally Yen
Ah, ‘tis the season for Olympic cheer, where people like me pretend to be obsessed with the Olympics in order to fit in with everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy watching some events now and then, but not nearly to the level that everyone else is at. I honestly can’t say that I really enjoy sitting down on my couch while watching people on a screen physically exert themselves. It just doesn’t appeal to me. However, I still appreciate the fact that all the nations are able to get together in one place to celebrate the spirit of athletic achievement and unity.
One thing that I can get behind is the spirit of cooperation during the Olympic season. For example, the Jamaican bobsled team finally qualified for the 2014 Olympics for the first time in 12 years, only to find out that they did not have enough money to go. Upon hearing this, an online fund was set up to raise money to send the team to Sochi. In just a few days, around $100,000 was raised, exceeding the goal of $80,000. Being a technologically connected teen, I saw this all happen just from browsing the internet and various sites. It was amazing to see people giving their own money to help others that they not only didn’t know, but also from a different, competing country. In another instance, during a cross-country skiing event, a Russian skier broke one of his skis and was about 3 minutes behind the rest of pack. While everyone else just stared at him, a Canadian coach actually went out and gave the skier a replacement ski and helped him put it on. Although the skier finished far behind everyone else, the Canadian coach’s action allowed the skier to finish with dignity. This, to me, is the Olympic spirit. Not the competitiveness, not the rivalries, but the sportsmanship and unity. The world today is filled with problems between countries that are too complicated for me to understand, but the opportunities that the Olympics present to cross these tensions are a way for everyone to temporarily let their hearts melt and come together.
So while others may focus on Olympic “controversy” (the Yuna ice skating fiasco, anyone?) I prefer to look at the other side of things. For me, the Olympics is not solely about getting the most gold medals or becoming hyper-competitive. It’s the other cornier thing. People helping people and letting their best selves show, that’s the Olympic spirit to me.
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