The strength of Olympism comes to it from that which is simply human, hence worldwide is its essence.
-Baron Pierre de Coubertin
"The Olympic Games were created for the exhaltation of the individual athlete."
-Baron Pierre Coubertin
Politics and social causes aside, the Olympicsí surface viewing is about the celebration of the human spirit. Olympians are common people. They are not usually wealthy or influential in their daily lives. They work tremendously hard and base their priorities around their training. They train for seven days of out the week in preparation for fourteen days of games, which happen every four years. The amount of dedication of these athletes is true testaments of the human spirit.
Another of the Olympicsí many lasting legacies are the showing of what humans can achieve. The Olympics gift to the rest of the world is a showcase of inspirations. Though, this legacy is rarely thought of, it is certainly there. Unlike common athletes, Olympians train and work under a veil of ambiguity. They are not famed or widely known. They truly receive their fifteen seconds of fame at the Olympics and afterward they slowly fade from our memory. However, their determinations are pressed into our mind and continue to serve as inspirations for us.
Though we barely remember names or faces of all the Olympians from one Olympics to another, we certainly will remember their acts of determination and dedication in the games as well as their told stories about how they got to the Olympics.
The modern Olympics hold so many inspirational stories that it is impossible to recount all. One of the greatest stories, however, came out of the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. The competition of the day was the two-man bobsled. The Italian team led by Eugenio Monti was in first place followed closely by the British team led by driver Tony Nash. The two teams were close to each other. As the Italian team arrived at the bottom of the second to last hill, the British team reached the top of the very same hill. There, Nash made the discovery that his team had a broken bolt on the rear axle of their sled. This would put them out of the competition. When Monti and his team learned of this. They immediately stopped their sled. Without any hesitation, removed the bolt from their own sled and sent it up to the British team. The British fixed their sled and proceeded to win the Gold, while the generous Italians received the bronze. This is just one of countless stories. This event took place in 1964 less than 20 years after World War II when the British and Italians were on opposing sides. Indeed, all the Athletes involved in this act of generosity were alive during those warring years. But at the Games, they seem to have forgotten their past and join in union as brothers. This story portrays the true brotherly loving spirit of the Olympics. Every nation and individual is one under the Olympics flag. The sacrifice that Monti and his teammate made that day was truly inspirational.