The Littlesheeps were lucky enough to experience a number of Olympic and Paralympic events live (big two saw Hockey, Football and Equestrian: Show Jumping at the Olympics and littlest saw Equestrian: Dressage and Swimming and biggest saw Swimming and Wheelchair Basketball at the Paralympics) this summer and have watched a great number of other events on television so what was special?
First of all the hype and promotion of the different sports has meant that children have probably watched a greater range of sports than those that they can usually see – this has broadened their horizons to other sports to try out – Biggest Littlesheep is now interested in the triathlon and Littlest Littlesheep enjoyed watching the fencing and declared he was going to do that when he grows up.
Secondly the Olympic and Paralympic creeds of taking part and trying your best are great for all children:
The Olympic Creed – ‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.’
The Paralympic Creed – ‘To enable Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to inspire and excite the world.’
Which is supported by the Oaths from athletes, judges and coaches – the which are all about fair play and sportsmanship:
- Athletes – In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams
- Judges – In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Olympic Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them in the true spirit of sportsmanship
- Coaches – In the name of all the coaches and other members of the athletes’ entourage, I promise that we shall commit ourselves to ensuring that the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play is fully adhered to and upheld in accordance with the fundamental principles of Olympism
Last of all – the basis of the games on peace and cooperation is an excellent ideal for all children and something for us all to work towards. The Olympics and Paralympics have also taught my children lots about different countries and to recognise the flags of many nations as they identify them for all the athletes.