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The Olympic Spirit: Uniting Us

Joined: 3/1/2014
Posts: 1
Ah, the Olympics…an opportunity to celebrate national athletes, a time to marvel despairingly at people who are more fit that we could dream of being, a sign that the world is alright.

Yet in the 1980’s, reciprocating Cold War invasions, the United States boycotted the Moscow summer Olympics, indicating that in their mind, the world was certainly not alright.

Since then, few Olympics have been boycotted or perhaps ever will be which is beneficial to the future world peace. Amidst the terror and unrest that riddles our planet, there is fragility and humanity in a moment where millions of strangers can watch in speechless awe as a girl in a white dress soars through the 3-dimensional history of Russia, spellbound across religion and race. The Olympic games are not valuable because they bring medals home; in a rare twist of irony, Olympics are good because they show us not how the world is, but how it can be.

In a world of turmoil and factions, it is easy to forget the beauty of peace, or the strength of standing side by side with strangers, captivated a million fireworks in the night sky. The Olympics, spanning several meager weeks, aspire to accomplish with skiers, fireworks and ballet performances what the UN and other major world peace organizations struggle to do in a lifetime: They give us vision. The Olympics provide vision to leaders, economists and young, aspiring athletes, alike; no person can withstand the multi-faceted, living proof of a better life through unity which the Olympics proffer. There is a fable about a King who is charged with reviving a barren kingdom with nothing more than a golden scope which shows him what good the future potentially holds. In the end, he succeeds where others fail because of his ability to capture the vision of a better future. If it were possible for a kingdom to come to life with vision, what will such vision do for the entire world?

The ultimate symbol of the Olympics unifying prowess to me, however, is the Olympic torch. Carried to every continent (now including the space station!), the lighting of the Olympic torch is neither a daring sport nor a way to bring fame, finances or glory to a nation, yet its flame and the tradition that surrounds it is perhaps one of the most revered tradition of the Olympic games. Although the tradition started in 1936 and I suspect the “flame” that reaches the polar regions is closer to a glorified blow-torch than a warmly-kindled original, it is, in a way, endearing to think of that torch as a beacon of sorts, the heart of the Olympics, lighting the way for a tradition that blurs the line between competition and friendship. With a history of division, the future can only bring further reasons for fractioning of our fragile planet, yet there is always hope for a better tomorrow as long as the Olympic torch is lit.
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