“The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part, just as 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.”
Baron Pierre de Coubertin – founder of the modern Olympic Games.
Olympism is a word foreign to most of us but familiar in its concept. You do not have to be an Olympic athlete to have Olympism. Olympism is about the pride in yourself gained through the glory of participation and the quest for achievement. The five ideals that should guide your life are embodied in the concept of Olympism: Vision, Focus, Commitment, Persistence and Discipline. Olympism is being the best you can be and gaining life’s tools to build self-confidence, self-esteem, personal effectiveness and the spirit of adventure.
We should reach out for Olympism. Embrace those ideals that Olympism represents. These ideals have lapsed from our consciousness and need revival. After over a century of the modern Olympic Games and the associated competition and sportsmanship the United States Olympic Academy is seeking to inspire all of us to accept these ideals.
Life can be difficult and the lessons of Olympism — Vision, Focus, Commitment, Persistence and Discipline — can help us overcome its obstacles. Sport can be a vehicle that instills the timeless values learned from participating and striving for a goal. Today’s youth needs strong values because the obstacles seem to be harder than in earlier times. The choices along the path of life today are many. Olympism can provide guidance and insight to young people to make the right choices with confidence. Olympism is the choice to participate and to make the best effort with the knowledge that you have given everything. We should encourage our young people to participate in life using the ideals learned through Olympism as a model. Whether in sports, music, academics we should instill the lesson that if you participate you win.