OLYMPIC REVIEW35 OLYMPIC CONGRESS What inspired your contribution to the Virtual Congress? I wanted to participate in this lively discussion with people across the world and hoped that my voice, however little, would make a contribution in the evolution and development of the Olympic Games. Also, Youth and Obesity, the topic I picked, is a very pertinent and real issue in our daily lives so I hoped to bring attention to that to raise awareness about it. How best do you think the Olympic Movement can connect with the general public and sports fans? Besides giving them access through media broadcasts and tickets, the general public and sports fans should be included in the preparation and execution of the Olympic Games. What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing the Olympic Movement? Some of the bigger challenges facing the Olympic Movement currently include doping which mars the integrity of the Games, as well as the involvement of politics, something that has featured in almost all the Games throughout the years manifesting itself in many different ways - boycotts, protests, etc. In your opinion what sets the Olympic Games apart from other sporting events? Apart from the large scale and standard of excellence of the Olympic Games, I think its long and rich history that has lived on till today that makes it more than ' just another sporting event'. Furthermore, it also promotes values such as friendship and respect, alongside sporting excellence as its core values. Another unique aspect of the Olympic Games is its cultural programme that takes place alongside the main sporting programme. Athletes are given the chance to enjoy music and dance performances, and exhibitions to get to know the history and culture of the host country better. Last but not least, through the Paralympics, it also includes athletes with disabilities and gives them opportunities to achieve sporting excellence at the highest platform as well. What sports do you participate in and/ or enjoy watching? I fence the epée and sometimes I jog, swim, play badminton or other ball games for leisure. I enjoy watching gymnastics and diving because I love how the gymnasts and divers hold themselves with such elegance, grace, poise and absolute control. Other favourite events of mine include table- tennis, tennis, volleyball and swimming. What is your favourite Olympic memory? One of my favourite Olympic memories was that of Michael Phelps' events. During the Beijing Games, there were two televisions in my school canteen broadcasting his event ' live' during our recess. Hundreds of girls were drawn to these two televisions and watched with bated breath. Never mind that we weren't Americans, never mind that not all of us were athletes. As one, we were all supporting one man's quest to conquer the pinnacle of sporting excellence in swimming. I know that right then, there must be people all around the world doing the same, and it then hit me how the Olympic movement brings people together. JINGYIN ZENG SINGAPORE, STUDENT AT RAFFLES INSTITUTION ( JUNIOR COLLEGE) targeted to spreading the principles, values and initiatives of the Movement itself. What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing the Olympic Movement? The value crisis modern society experiences due to the consumer, utilitarian and hedonistic culture has generated a philosophy of life whose materialism conspires against the great ideals of the Olympic Movement. The second threat is the aim of economic power to control sports, trying to turn it into a means to serve the petty goals of that power. It is true that nowadays sports activities in general need economic support, which in itself is not questionable. What is questionable is trying to put sports at the service of money. Doping is a consequence of the interaction of the above two causes. In your opinion what sets the Olympic Games apart from other sporting events? The message of universal fraternity they convey by allowing athletes to live together for over two weeks sharing as equals in spite of their different cultural backgrounds, and who become adversaries only for a few hours, minutes or seconds: brief moments compared to the possibility of making lifetime friends. What sports do you participate in and watch? At present, due to my academic commitments, I can only enjoy recreational swimming. I also enjoy watching basketball and volleyball competitions. What is your favourite Olympic memory? The troubled participation of the British athlete Derek Redmond in the 400 metres semi- final of the Barcelona Olympic Games. He pulled his hamstring and collapsed on the track but then he made an effort to stand and started to run again, clearly in pain. His father helped him by supporting him with his presence up to the finish line. This meant being officially disqualified, but his attitude meant, above all, an impressive sign of willpower to continue participating, which was all the more valuable as it was impossible for him to win. That was for me, on the one hand, a show of passion, and on the other, a show of the unconditional love of a father. " MY FAVOURITE OLYMPIC MEMORY WAS OF MICHAEL PHELPS' EVENTS. DURING THE BEIJING GAMES, THERE WERE TWO TELEVISIONS IN MY SCHOOL CANTEEN BROAD-CASTING HIS EVENT ' LIVE' DURING OUR RECESS. HUNDREDS OF GIRLS WERE DRAWN TO THESE TWO TELEVISIONS AND WATCHED WITH BATED BREATH. NEVER MIND THAT WE WEREN'T AMERICANS, NEVER MIND THAT NOT ALL OF US WERE ATHLETES"
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