Olympics and Its Uniqueness in Today’s War-Torn World (Rank Princess – SEO)

Conflict and war continue to divide the international community. The Rio Olympics are a welcome light of unity in the darkness of our war-torn world.

As much as the Olympics is about sports, one cannot ignore its political aspect. From the Black Power Salute in 1968 to the Refugee Olympic Team in 2016, the Olympics are an important stage for political messages.

It Isn’t a Pretty Picture: Olympic Games Political Issues

A genocide claims millions in Darfur. Bullet pellets maim hundreds in the Kashmir valley. Tensions in South China have never been higher. And Afghanistan still dreams of returning to its erstwhile glory.

While Steven Pinker might rightly claim that our world has never been more peaceful, there is still a significant amount of violence going around.

In the wake of all the discord, the Rio Olympics has refreshingly managed to emphasise the importance of unity and peace. IOC President Thomas Bach reminded us, quite eloquently, of this fact in the magnificent opening ceremony.

The Five Rings

There have been many heart-warming instances of international unity at Rio this year, not the least among them a selfie between two Korean gymnasts.

The catch, of course, was that one of them (Lee Eun Ju) was from South Korea and the other (Hong Un Jong) from North Korea. The animosity between the two nations notwithstanding, this cheerful selfie showed the world that people from ‘rival’ nations could get along just fine.

A second instance belied what is arguably a bigger conflict. In the men’s 81kg (178 lbs) class judo, Khasan Khalmurzaev (Russia) hugged Travis Stevens (USA) after defeating him. Stevens called the Russians he trains with his ‘brothers’.

Americans are rightly proud of their prowess on the basketball court. But after winning a close match against Australia, the US head coach remarked, “Australia has played the best basketball in the Olympics”.

All these examples showcase that no matter what might be going in international politics when people come together for the love of sport, they can let go of their differences.

The Stateless and Uncertain

The modern refugee crisis is the biggest in the world, claimed to be bigger than that during the Second World War, and that’s saying something.

Millions upon millions of stateless refugees have been knocking on Europe’s doors for a while now. And in spite of Angela Merkel’s valiant efforts, the doors have largely remained shut.

For the first time in history, the Summer Olympics have hosted a Refugee Olympic Team (ROT). And yes, it’s great news.

Running for Respect: Social Importance of the Olympic Games

From Marine Le Pennin France to the louder Donald Trump in the US, right-wing nationalism has been on the rise. And with it, people have begun shunning the stateless millions.

But with the ROT participating, people are now beginning to respect the refugees.

Getting these people to Rio has highlighted their stories in ways that didn’t happen yet. Whether it be Yusra Mardini, Rami Anis, Yolande Mabika, or Popole Misenga, their stories of courage and perseverance are inspiring us all.

A Coming Together

There are athletes from every country of the world, and the refugees, who are living and training together in the Olympic Village. Their trainers, neighbours, and competitors are equally varied.

It is no surprise, therefore, that the pursuit of excellence in sports will allow us to forget if only for a few days, the pain and division in our war-torn world.


LSI Keywords: Olympic Games Political Issues, Rio Olympics, Summer Olympics, ROT, Refugee Olympic Team, Olympics and unity, Olympic Village, Social Importance of the Olympic Games

Additional URLs:

  1. http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/18-time-gold-medalist-michael-phelps-bear-american/story?id=41141118
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-37018914
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-37018914
  4. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-08/06/c_135569291.htm
  5. http://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/what-the-olympics-mean-for-rio
  6. http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-08-05/unity-and-division-at-the-olympics-irhituu7
  7. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/refugee-olympic-team-rio/494969/
  8. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetorch/2016/08/10/489466775/for-refugee-team-just-being-in-rio-is-like-winning-gold
  9. http://www.firstpost.com/sports/rio-olympics-2016-the-refugee-team-now-have-a-flag-anthem-of-their-own-2949344.html
  10. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/letters/ct-the-olympics-bring-peace-in-our-war-torn-world-20160808-story.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *