WHAT YOUNG VIEWERS CAN LEARN FROM THE OLYMPICS

olympics.jpgolympics2.jpgThis summer, elite athletes from 205 countries are competing in more than 300 events at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. In addition to being a compelling sports event, the Olympics offer a good opportunity for parents to teach children valuable lessons, from determination and courage to equality and respect. Here are some of the values and traits parents might want to discuss with children during the games.

Determination

Know what your purpose or goal is, and don't take your eyes off the prize. Even if you fail or make mistakes, you stay true to your course and keep going.

During the 1968 Olympics, a Tanzanian runner named John Stephen Akhwari finished the marathon last. He was wounded and had a dislocated knee. But he didn't give up. The audience praised his strength of spirit. When a reporter later asked him why he didn't just quit, Akhwari answered calmly: "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."

Equality

Treating others the way you would want to be treated means that no matter what race, color or nationality other people are, you respect them.

At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, two African women, one white and the other black, finished the 10,000-meter race and celebrated their victory hand in hand. They showed the world that true equality was recognizing the uniqueness and strength of everyone.

Respect

Respect means admiring, supporting and acknowledging other people. You are aware of their capabilities and show your respect by using good manners and considering their needs.

As different countries take turns hosting the Olympic Games, young viewers learn to respect others' traditions and cultures. For example, when the games were held in South Korea, it led to a lot of foreign interest in South Korean culture. This renewed the country's confidence, and the young people there learned to be more open and acceptant of foreigners.

iStock_000003251618Medium.jpgExcellence

When you say that someone is "excellent," you confer that he or she is outstanding or exceptionally good. Whatever sport you choose, hobby or talent you want to pursue, in fact in everything you do in life, strive for excellence. Be the best you can be -- no matter who is watching.

Inspiration

There are so many Olympic athletes who serve as inspiration to youth everywhere. Perhaps one of the most inspiring athletes this year is Yusra Mardini, a teen from Syria. Less than a year ago, when she was fleeing war in her country, the tiny boat carrying over 20 other people started sinking.

Yusra swam for over three hours, all the while pushing the boat to shore. Because of her, all of those people survived. She's now part of the official Refugee Olympic Team, swimming for gold this year.

Courage

It's easy to do your work when you're happy and everything is going well. But it takes courage to keep going in difficult times.

During the Barcelona Olympics, runner Derek Redmond only had 175 meters to go before he accidentally pulled his hamstring. But he got up again despite the tears, and kept on running. When it looked like he couldn't make it anymore, his father suddenly emerged from the audience. He held his son up and cried, "We'll finish together." His father's love gave the athlete the courage to finish the race despite the pain he was going through.

Friendship

The Olympic Games bring together international athletes from all over the world. They learn to treat one another as equals and make new friends. You can always reach out to others and be a friend to those who may need encouragement, no matter where in the world you are.


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