The inspirational Games
Updated: 2012-07-27 08:06
Traditions are lost with time. The Olym-pic Games, however, is one of the exceptions. The Games has the magic to unite people across the world because of the inspirational power of sports.
The opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London today offers the world the opportunity to contribute to its legacy. The London Games' theme, "Inspire a Generation", is aimed at providing another enduring sporting legacy.
The challenge for sports today is tough and complex. Not all young people choose to play some game or another. Some lack the facilities, or coaches and role models to teach them. Others, in today's age of 24-hour entertainment and instant fame, may simply lack the desire.
London's vision is to reach young people and connect to the inspirational power of the Games. The challenge is not only for the youth and sports, but also for the development of the Olympic Games.
As competitive games have been commercialized and become increasingly professional, the Games has gradually become a market for businesses, agents of star athletes and TV channels. So reaching out to young people and inspiring them to take up sports may be the most effective way of enriching the spirit of the Olympics.
Thanks to the International Inspiration program of the London Games, about 12.9 million children and young people have taken part in sports and physical education, many for the first time. About 113,000 teachers, coaches and young leaders - many from developing countries lacking proper sports facilities - have been trained to keep up the practice in schools and communities.
The program is aimed at creating long-term, transformational change for them beyond the 2012 Games.
Just like the Beijing 2008 Olympics' emphasis on peace and harmony, the London Games' message will travel far beyond the city and sports arenas. For, it addresses the challenges for future generations across the world.
The vitality and prosperity of the modern Olympic Games rest in the wisdom and inspiration provided by different host countries. London knows the recipe to invoke the magic of the Games again and, hopefully, will make it a success.
May the power of the Olympics be fully realized through the vision of inspiring a new generation.
(China Daily 07/27/2012 page8)