By Kang Seung-woo
The Olympics are not just about winning, but more importantly, about participating.
The quadrennial games are a competition for the best athletes from all over the world but, on a bigger scale, are meant to be a global festival for people from different countries to set aside their differences and share common goals of excellence.
The London Games will serve to confirm these aims.
Athletes shown in and around the illustrated Olympic rings above are not all gold-medal hopefuls. Being in London already qualifies these athletes as winners.
This isn’t meant in any way to blunt the sense of competition of those taking part.
They should do their best to claim gold medals and better existing records.
But at the same time, they should be reassured that they are no less valuable, even if they don’t prevail.
The same goes for the billions of viewers watching the two-week sporting saga.
They will root for their nation’s athletes but this doesn’t mean they are not enthusiastic about stellar performances by other countries.
That’s the Olympic spirit.
At this time, the world is in a deep funk. The economy is in a shambles, bloody fights occur and natural and manmade disasters take place.
But the weary humankind can take a rest during the games and gain strength and confidence to face the toughest challenges and prevail. This human spirit is best illustrated by the Olympic spirit.
Let’s revive the ancient Greek tradition and call an Olympic truce. Let’s set aside worldly cares, sit back and enjoy a two-week Olympic ride.