Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) – Olympic Motto, Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
YAY!! 4 fun years have flashed before my eyes and suddenly it’s only 13 days to go until the Rio 2016 OLYMPICS! Yes, that’s right, in just 13 days time, our televisions will be filled with 200 brightly coloured flags and huge crowds of people in the Rio stadiums screaming for their country to win. Our iconic athletes, who have been training and training ever since the London 2012 Olympics, will be shortly arriving to the capital of Brazil (if they haven’t already) with the hope that they will proudly stand on that podium in a few days’ time in front of their friends, family and the rest of the world and make history.
You may have already guessed, but I am probably the biggest Olympics fan (that I know of anyway). I absolutely LOVE everything about the Olympics. From the blue, black, red, yellow and green rings, to the opening ceremony, from sprinting to gymnastics, from new athletes to almost retired athletes, you will not see me for the entire month of August because I will be absolutely glued to a TV screen, and if I’m not in front of the TV screen, you will find me either in the gym trying to be a body builder, running around the country side trying to be Mo Farah, swimming in a pool trying to be like Chad Le Clos, or doing a random sport which I have never tried before…maybe even playing ping pong somewhere. Either way, that’s what I’ll be doing. The reasons why I love the Olympics so much is because the whole event is so inspiring and motivational to me and THIS is why I am writing a blog today, to encourage you to also watch it. Whether you’re physically active or inactive, if you watch the Olympics, I can guarantee you that you will become inspired and will want to get out that front (or back) door and do something active.
Before I go on, let’s take a brief history class and remind ourselves about where the Olympics started. Apparently, back in the days of the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD, the ‘Ancient Olympic Games’ took place in Olympia, Greece every 4 years at the sanctuary of Zeus. Which, I suppose is why we now know it as the Olympics. Sometime later, in 1894, Baron Pierre de Coubertin (the man who instigated the movement) founded the International Olympics Committee. Coubertin said, ‘The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well’. This is shown with the interconnecting rings (blue, black, red, yellow, green) which represents the 5 inhabited continents, it was an idea that the Olympics were to promote peace, and thus reduce the likeliness of war because of the athletic competition being promoted across many cultures around the world. Therefore forcing athletes and spectators to be respectful of other peoples’ backgrounds, religious beliefs, ethnicities, gender and sexuality etc.
Fast forward to our modern Olympics as we know it. Probably the biggest sporting event for every country. Sponsors are going crazy, famous designers carefully selected to make the iconic kit, sports companies selling Olympic merchandise, media running wild, fans travelling thousands of miles to watch their favourite athletes and their favourite sports, thousands of people training and trying to qualify for a space on the team, countries fighting to be the next hoast in order to show off a world class party. If that hasn’t made you a little bit excited to watch the Olympics, here’s 5 reasons to watch the Olympics this August…
1… This August, you will find athletics, volleyball, basketball, badminton, archery, boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving, horse riding, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, rugby, netball, swimming, shooting, triathlon, heptathlon, tennis, trampolining, weight lifting, wrestling and MORE on your screens which will hopefully motivate you to play too! Watch a few sports and invite your friends, family, kids or even your dog to play with you during the week or weekend. Grab a volleyball and go to the beach, go for a cycle around the country side, play football in the park, anything!
2…It’s Usain and Jessica’s last Olympics. Now this one makes me sad because they’re both incredible athletes and I get butterflies watching them, but at the same time it makes me excited because they’re both hopefully going to make history this year (along with many others of course). Bolt is aiming for the triple triple, for those who don’t know what I am talking about, Bolt won 100m, 200m and the relay (3 events) in both Beijing and London Olympics and before he retires this year, he wants to win those 3 events again (for the 3rd time). As for Jessica Ennis-Hill, if she defends her Heptathlon title, she would be the first woman in British history to defend an Olympic title, how amazing is that? Ensure you watch them make history.
3…I won’t bore you too much with science, but it is proven that the first stage of learning any new skill (cognitive stage of learning) is where a person observes someone who has ‘mastered’ the skill and therefore retains that in their head, so that when they go through the ‘trial and error’ stage, they already have an idea in their head of how it should look like. For example, if you told your 2 year old son to kick a ball, he wouldn’t understand, but if you showed him how to kick a ball first, he will then understand what he is trying to master. The same goes for you watching an Olympic event. If you watch the athletes perform the mastered skills, you have a better idea in your head of how it should look like, so when you go to practice, you will have a better understanding of what the skill should look or feel like. What I am trying to say is, watching sports in some way, will make you a better athlete.
4… You can learn all the fun, iconic signature gestures. Whether it’s the lightening bolt or mobot, see how many you can identify and learn by the end of the month for a bit of fun.
5…Have a Olympics party with your kids or friends. Now, I know a lot of people who had a Eurovision party earlier this year, so why not have an Olympic party, get your friends together and cheer on the athletes in the semi finals or finals. Or, if you have kids or are a teacher, get them active! Help your kids learn about different countries, make flags, learn something about the country, learn something about the sport, or better yet, watch a sport and then play the sport with them!
Thanks for reading, enjoy the Olympics!
Useful links – https://www.rio2016.com/en
© 2016 Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.