Principle #3 – Unified in our Passion for Sports

Our world was united again! The theme of the summer Olympics in Tokyo was “Moving Forward,” and the motto was “United by Emotion.” For three weeks, the Olympics brought 206 countries and over 11,000 athletes together to compete in 33 sports and 46 disciplines…with a total of 339 medal events.

COVID is still a global pandemic, and it is affecting everyone. It pushed back the Olympics from 2020 to 2021. I think this may have made these Olympic Games more special. It was a celebration of countries coming together to bring unity, diversity, and equality. There were protocols to follow and no fans in the stands, but somehow it all worked out. These athletes left their home countries and brought their cultures, beliefs, and athletic abilities to compete in the Olympic Games.

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” – Bahí í Writings

The United States sent 613 athletes to Tokyo…329 women and 284 men. Many athletes trained independently because of the virus, but they trained hard. They endured physical injuries and mental challenges to pursue their dream. I can’t imagine having that kind of pressure to achieve excellence. Not all athletes won a medal, but fellow competitors congratulated each other, no matter what country. People watched from home and cheered the athletes on.

I enjoyed watching the Olympic Games. Hearing the athlete’s stories personalized it for me. I cheered for the United States and for other countries because I wanted everyone to win! I believe the pandemic has changed the way I see the world. I’m much more compassionate toward people. I think we have more commonalities than differences. We all have the same goals but different beliefs about how to go after them. We’re all trying to live our lives the best way we know how.

“It is sad but true that sometimes we need the tragedy to help us to see how human we are and how we are more alike than we are different.” – Maya Angelou

Our country was built on unity. The founding fathers came together and wrote the Constitution. It couldn’t have been easy, but compromise won. Working together helps us become stronger; it always has. United we stand, divided we fall. We have been divided over COVID-19 vaccines and wearing masks for so long. We can stand up and show the world that we are united in our battle to conquer COVID. Then we can help the rest of the world get vaccinated. Our world needs us to pave the way. Please wear a mask and get vaccinated.

“Together we can face any challenge as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky.”
–  Sonia Gandhi

I don’t think the Olympic Games are about winning or losing. I think it’s about the best athletes in the world who came together with passion, pride, and dedication to compete in a sport they have trained for all their lives. And for just a little while, we forgot the challenges of the world as we watched and cheered them on.

My hope is that the athletes will go home and take some of their experiences back with them. And we can continue to feel a sense of unity with the rest of the world. Thank you, Olympians, for bringing unity…you are our world’s heroes! Let’s join together to build a better tomorrow and bring the light of harmony to our country and our world!

Freedom is possible!


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