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The Olympic Spirit: Uniting the World

Joined: 2/25/2014
Posts: 2
My heart beat in my ear like the quickening march of a drum. I clenched my hands as I looked out upon the millions of screaming fans, just then realizing the immensity of pressure on this one race. I stared down the competition; they looked intense and fierce, which made me a little weak in my knees. This was the 2008 Olympics, and I was so focused on the race that a war could be going on outside and I would not notice it. Ok, so I was not on the pool deck of the Beijing aquatics center. I was on the edge of my couch, shaking my leg and biting my nails in anticipation as I waited for the start of the women’s 50 meter freestyle. In my 10 year old days my favorite athlete of all time was Dara Torres, and she was about to take the blocks in the fastest event in swimming. The event lasts for such a short time that I tried not to blink in fear that I would miss it. Suddenly, I saw Torres trying to get the official’s attention. My heart dropped in fear and for a moment I could not breathe. The announcers went into a panicked flurry of confusion as everyone around the world was thinking the same question: why was Torres delaying the race? The seconds seemed to stretch along eternity as I waited for more information. I breathed a sigh of relief when the announcers relayed that Torres had stopped the race intentionally because an Australian competitor had ripped her suit and needed to go change.
Even as a 10 year old, I knew that I was never going to make the Olympics no matter how much I tried. I had given up that dream a long time ago. In my opinion, the Olympics are not about inspiring young athletes to obtain Olympic status because, in reality, for most people it is not possible.
But Dara Torres taught me a lot in that one act of kindness. Her competitor would have missed her Olympic race had Torres not intervened. Even in situations with such high stakes such as the Olympics, sportsmanship prevailed. Countries that may have animosity between them politically may put aside their differences and come together to compete in a friendly competition once every 2 years.
Take the Olympic rings, for example. Each ring is interconnected to form a united whole. The Olympics somehow erase all racial, social, and wealth based barriers for 17 days. In that time, an ideal world becomes a reality; a world in which all nations can reside side by side together in harmony.
Because, in reality, acts of kindness like that of Torres shows that we are all united together, regardless of the flag athletes may wear on their warm ups.

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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 7:10:55 PM
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