Monday, 27 August 2012

Olympic Spirit, Olympic Movement, Olympic Truce

Generally, the term "Olympic spirit" is an oft-referred to but perhaps vaguely-defined concept associated with the Olympic Games. Some equate it with Pierre de Coubertin's statement that  
“The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well”. [Coubertin' is founder of the Modern Olympic Games. He founded the Olympic Movement and the International Olympic Committee]. 
Perhaps it means embodying Olympism (the three values of Olympics): Excellence, Respect, Friendship. And the aim is to build a better world through Sports. 

Olympic Spirit is an officially sanctioned programme of the International Olympic CommitteeIts mission is:
  • to build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play
  • to inspire and motivate the youth of the world to be the best they can be through educational and entertaining interactive challenges. 
  • to instill and develop the values and ideals of Olympism in those who visit and to promote tolerance and understanding in these increasingly troubled time in which we live, to make our world a more peaceful place.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth and people through sport practised in accordance with Olympism and its values. 

The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organised, universal and permanent action, carried out under the supreme authority of the IOC, all individuals and entities who are inspired by the values of Olympism. […] Belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter and recognition by the IOC Principles. The Olympic Movement encompasses organisations, athletes and other persons who agree to be guided by the Olympic Charter. 3

The Truce is a historic part of the Olympic Games: in ancient times, all warring parties laid down their weapons during the Games, providing relief in times of constant war. This tradition of the Olympic Truce was revived in 1993 by a U.N. Resolution, reminding the world that the peaceful spirit of the Games can be a stepping stone for advancing conflict prevention and peace building objectives.
The U.N. Resolution calling for the Olympic Truce for the 2012 London Games was adopted and co-sponsored by all of the 193 U.N. Member States, indicating the importance that the international community places on the value of sport for peace. While a concrete universal ceasefire was unfortunately not observed so far (with ongoing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan etc..), the Olympic Truce remains a noble goal and a powerful reminder of the spirit, ideals and historic potential of the Games. The Truce also reaffirms the actions of many programmes and organisations working towards unity and reconciliation in communities around the world. 4

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