STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

The Olympic Spirit: Unity on the Ragged Old Couch

Joined: 2/26/2014
Posts: 2
Lights change colors on the screen and transform into differing images. Six pupils dilate as they fixate on the resplendent worldwide event at the comfort of the family room. 2012, the summer Olympics were taking place in London, England. It was the first time I recollect actually watching the summer Olympics and it was this memory of sharing the cushion of the collapsing couch inside my constrained minute apartment living room that I realized the universal Olympic Spirit.

Huge machinery, thousands of dancers, fireworks, and of course the Queen, it was a spectacle worthy of showing off a nation’s greatest gems and accomplishments. However, the opening ceremony show wasn’t the aspect that caught my attention but of the parade of nations. Groups were made up of the best and fittest athletes of their country marching out and wearing odd-looking uniforms that correspond. In one hand, the flag of the country that they proudly represent and on the other a cellphone held up and facing the crowd—probably about to capture the moment for social media to tweet tweets and post on the infamous blue and white walls. Nations step out, those of so-called world powers and those of smaller states. I hear the names of all the countries announced one by one, all 204 of them. Then I slowly think to myself and list the countries that I knew at the top of my head reaching a maximum of about 10. Countries that I did not even know existed and countries with pronunciations I could not even fathom all proceed: Azerbaijan, Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Sao Toa and Principe, and so on. Then out come the group of athletes holding the blue and red flag with the yellow stars and sun. It was the appearance of my mom’s native country and that of my culture. My attention is disrupted with the cheering of my mom and the widening grin on her face as she roars for the country that shaped her entire foundation. There stood 11 Filipinos ready to represent their nation and to represent my mom’s native pride. Later, the Q, R, T, and S countries continue on and then the hoard of stars and stripes storm into the arena. All 530 athletes of them formulate Team USA, unfortunately all wearing horribly misshapen hats. Suddenly, I experienced the same pride my mom had for the Philippines but instead, I had it for what I considered to be my country, the United States of America.

It’s hard to imagine how after 17 days, all these countries and athletes all speaking different languages with different cultures will come together and walk out as one, no longer separated by their individual nations. This I believe is the true Olympic Spirit: the unification of all and the riddance of barriers and difference. Just like my own family squeezed inside the ragged couch, there stands a blend of cultures, shared dreams and aspirations.
Rate this:
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 7:10:35 PM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy