IOA President’s Closing Remarks on the 11th Joint International Session for Directors of National Olympic Academies

Dear participants, the 11th International Session for Directors of NOAs, which has just been completed, has left us a remarkably positive sense regarding the future of the Olympic Education dissemination in a global scale.

Nowadays, the meaning of globalization is totally understandable to have been identified more with a political movement and less with an effort to achieve educational uniformity in the field of promotion of the Olympic Education in different regions of the world.

Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to attend all the lectures, I have realized from their presentations that they face the special subject of the Session with great sensitivity. Through the presentations of prominent lecturers, like Dr. T.J. Rosandich, from the USA and Professor Axel Horn from Germany, we have all found out that the new forms of technology which are currently developing really fast, apart from the risks that are being involved, such as abuse of one-sided and insufficient information, they also offer unlimited potentialities of the dissemination of the Olympic Idea.

Proessor A.M. Najeeb has introduced us a new level of knowledge concerning teaching systems and methods, which have been developed recently, via globally recognized interdisciplinary strategies, while our oncologist friend, Dr. Spyros Retsas, has guided us, in an elegant way, through the medical paths of Ancient Greece and the influence of medicine in the formation of a social culture connected to nature and competitive sports.

Dr Yohan Blondel, through his presentation regarding the recent French approach to the teaching of Olympic Values, has convinced us that we will always have the hope of improving the classical methodology for the dissemination of the Olympic Values, through school programs which associate directly the sport action with the Olympic knowledge.

The IOC Vice President and Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the 1st Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010, Mr. Ser Miang Ng, has brought us close to the astonishing IOC efforts for the creation of an athletic culture, on a different basis, which combines physical exercise with the cultural education of youth and the new model athlete we have all anticipated. At this point, I would like to underline my friend’s Miang Ng’s presence in this Session, which is of great importance, since it shows the IOC’s interest for the works of the Session and the issues raised by the National Olympic Academies.

I would also like to point out Professor Margaret Talbot’s interesting approach with regard to the controversy between the educators and the sports administrators. It is a controversy which creates various side effects, ambiguous interpretations and most times, human dead ends. In an era where the phenomena don’t respond to the reality, the need to enhance the role of the Olympic educators becomes more and more significant.

The subject we have chosen this year for discussion in the Session for the National Olympic Academies has left a margin of reasoning pursuit, while at the same time, has provided an opportunity of evaluation of the course, followed until recently, towards the propagation of the Olympic Ideals.

The conclusions as well as the thoughts you have just expressed (even though they were not known to me the moment I prepared this speech) is certain that they will be further discussed by all of us. More specifically, the National Olympic Academies members are requested to examine in depth the issues that have come into question and define their stance, which we would like to record as soon as you return to your home countries.

As I have already stated in the 10th Joint International Session for Presidents or Directors of NOAs and Officials of NOCs “The contemporary societies desperately need ideas and people with vision.”

I am absolutely sure that these people are within the National Olympic Academies, and if you have not discovered them yet, search around you and especially among the young people.

Give them food for thought and action and take advantage of their anxiety before the oncoming New Era which comes along with globalization. Simultaneously, make use of the things that this New Era offers you, along with the technological evolution and innovations, so that you can form the conditions which will facilitate the work of educating and training the youth, through a global procedure.

The Olympic Values are not going to corrupt because of the globalization. On the contrary, the prefabricated ideas as well as the nihilistic dogmatic perceptions, which usually follow such movements, could be influenced by the purity included in the terms, fair play, respect, meritocracy and peace.

Dear friends, I would like to thank you, once more, for your presence here, in this sacred place of Olympia and for your efforts to attend this Session in an active way. I wish you a safe return back home, health to all of you and I promise to be always close to you and assist you in your work. Thank you.


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