Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spreading the Olympic Spirit

The Center for the Study of Sport in Society and the Olympism Project have launched a special campaign at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The grassroots effort--lead by Olympians--aims to inspire, motivate, and educate athletes in the Olympic Village through posters with quotations and images chronicling the people, history and ideas of Olympism and the Olympic Spirit.

The campaign's goal is to ensure that Olympic values are not lost in the midst of Olympic competition.

The Olympic Charter is clear: “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” - Fundamental Principles

Olympism takes on added relevance as the intersection of the Games and politics attracts global attention and awareness like few Games before. The Beijing Olympic Games are not only about the athletes and the spirit of international competition - One World, One Dream; they are also about bringing nations and cultures into dialog with one another in order to effect peaceful change in the world.

The Olympic Charter outlines the role of the IOC: “To cooperate with the competent public or private organizations and authorities in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace.”

Mindful of the IOC's mandate and the Olympic Spirit, Sport in Society and the Olympism Project are delivering a new poster to Olympic delegations on each day of competition.

The posters encourage athletes to succeed both on the playing field and off, simultaneously challenging them to think about what it means to be an Olympian today.

Today’s Olympic athletes find themselves in a unique and prestigious position as the eyes of the world are upon them for seventeen days. The Olympism poster campaign is already inspiring, motivating and challenging athletes to perform to the best of their ability, and to represent their respective countries--and humanity--with dignity and poise while amidst the flurry of political and social activism that inevitably attends the Games.

See a recent Boston Globe article:

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