A True Testament to the Power of Sport to Unite
On the 9th February opening of the Winter Olympics 2018 the eyes of the world turned to Pyeongchang when the President of the Republic of Korea and President of IOC officially opened the events. It was an opening full of excitement and significant emotions. We witnessed the first Olympic victory made before amazing athletes from all around the world, as they entered the world of ice and snow competing for glory and pride not only for their countries, but most importantly for themselves.
Victory of Olympic humanity towards peace and hope was given to the world when we saw 166 Korean athletes walking united behind the blue and white flag. This unifying flag bares more than a symbol of two countries that have been in conflict for several decades and has posed a threat for world peace.
It was indeed a historical moment for so many reasons. North and South Korea together as one, athletes from two separate conflicting countries walking in side by side infact, hand in hand.We remember over the last months the escalation of words and threat such that a moment like this seemed to be impossible. But through the power of sport and the unifying five rings it has become reality.
No one can ever forget the power of the spoken word, one of history’s most outstanding human beings, Nelson Mandela. Sport has the power to change the world, it has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to the youths in a language they understand and sport can certainly create hope where once there was only despair. As we can see, it is more powerful than governments, in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination. Pyeongchang 2018 is the perfect example to demonstrate that sports has succeeded where politics has failed.
We can only applaud all stakeholders in the Olympic movement which have played their various parts towards making this possible in showcasing sport’s role in reducing conflicts and this is the true spirit of the Olympics which can be traced back as far as the creation of the Olympic games. It also showcases to us that our athletes not only lead, but are real examples through their actions that they are the true ambassadors of our hopes.
We hope that this will continue and that the spirit of fair play, friendship, cultural understanding, unity and diversity will shine bright over Pyeongchang.