- 02 Nov 2011
The Olympic Values? Child’s play!
The 31st Olympic Week ended on 20 October, and was devoted entirely to the theme of hope, a nod to the temporary exhibition at The Olympic Museum entitled “HOPE – When Sport can Change the World”.
Youngsters from Lausanne and its surrounding areas aged between 9-15 were able to try, free of charge, 36 sports and a dozen cultural activities: athletics, fencing, biathlon, photo journalism, the Hope Factory (an exhibition workshop at The Olympic Museum until 6/11/11. It provides a fun and interactive way of discovering the Olympic values.)… so many ways of discovering the world of the Olympic Games and the values of sport.
Olympic Week is not a fair where the activities are seen as mere entertainment. It is a place of social and cultural exchange, an opportunity for generations to mix, a great life experience for all.
Everyone has their place at Olympic Week:
• Young participants from all social backgrounds, in good health or in need of assistance to feel what it is like to practise sport;
• Fans of sport who devoted several days of their holiday to provide patient coaching for beginners;
• Volunteers, mostly retired, who would not miss this event for the world, such is their enthusiasm to remain an important link in the chain between youth and sport;
• Professionals from the worlds of sport and culture who organise everything and ensure everyone’s comfort.
It was a harmonious “melting pot” which did not escape the young London bloggers, who came especially to cover the event in the pages they have devoted to the 2012 Games. They were accompanied by representatives of LOCOG’s Educational Section.
The highlight of this edition of Olympic Week was special guest Samir Azzimani, the first Moroccan athlete to qualify for Alpine skiing events at the Games (Vancouver 2010), who came to share his experiences. Both as ski instructor and speaker, he wanted to encourage everyone to “feed their dreams” ("Nourrissez Vos Reves” is the name of the association created by Samir Azzimani to encourage youngsters of the Paris suburbs to believe in their future), based on the principle that if he was able to realise his, everyone else could too… with a little perseverance and a lot of hard work.
It is therefore not wrong to argue that Olympic Week is representative of Pierre de Coubertin’s legacy, and, like that legacy, helps to educate young and very young people through the concrete application of the values of sport and Olympism.