Olympic Gold

Blog Post #116

I’m not a fan of the Olympics and I rarely if ever watch any sports coverage of the events. I usually don’t even pay attention to news reports, etc. about the games. I find myself irritated, dismayed and frustrated with how the Olympic Games has evolved into a big business, fueled by corruption and greed.

I realize and appreciate that the athletes who compete in the games have given everything to train and perfect their abilities in order to have the chance to reach their ultimate goal — to compete in the Olympics, to win that medal.

For some people, the games still hold the values of Olympism:

The three values of Olympism are “excellence, friendship and respect. They constitute the foundation on which the Olympic Movement builds its activities to promote sport, culture and education with a view to building a better world.”*

For me, I’m not sure that is still true.

But today, I learned about a extraordinary young woman — an 18 year old Syrian refugee, Yusra Mardini. Yusra, a swimmer, and her sister, fled war-torn Syria last year after their home was destroyed. The two young women helped to save 18 refugees headed for Greece, when their small craft began to take on water while escaping Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea. For three and half hours, the two women pushed the little boat toward the shore of Lesbos where they were rescued.

Her story doesn’t end there.

The Olympic Committee has established a Refugee team who will compete under the Olympic flag and in June, Yusra was invited to join that team along with nine other refugees from Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

This is the best Olympic story I have heard in a long time. Isn’t this what the Games are all about?

Follow Yusra on Facebook and Instagram

*from The Olympic Games

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