When Sochi vibrates with the energy of the 22nd Winter Games, will children succumb to the lure of sport and dreams of surpassing themselves?
In 1976, after the Montreal Olympics, gymnasiums were filled with young girls wanting to become the next Nadia Comaneci. The prowess, talents and medals of great athletes motivate children to follow their example.
Already, the simple passage of the Olympic flame in your neighborhood has surely aroused the curiosity of young people. Many teachers and parents took the opportunity to explain what this symbol represents and even the origin of the Olympics.
Olympic madness often grips families and schools. So much the better! Everyone feels united: we follow the competitions live, we watch the events all glued to a sofa, we read the results in the newspapers and we browse the Web to find out the rules of certain lesser-known sports or to learn more about an athlete. It's undeniable: the Olympics bring people together.
The Power of True Heroes
Being able to identify with a successful charismatic athlete is important for the child. Its hero is not fictional; it is very real. Also, his "powers" aren't magical; he hashad to work to reach the highest step. The Olympic Games make children want to play sports. Discovering new disciplines, noticing ways of doing things, finding "tricks" to improve by watching a great athlete descend a ski slope and want to surpass himself like him, it's priceless. And in a society where we keep repeating that children don't move enough on a daily basis, what better than holding the Games to stimulate this desire to put sport back at the heart of our lives?
But beyond sport, there is the whole side of surpassing oneself and hard work that emerges from this great event. Many Olympic values are put forward and could become strong beacons in many spheres of young people's lives: at school, in their other hobbies and in their relationships with others.
Short track speed skater Marianne St-Gelais is a great example of a he althy, fulfilled young woman, and she gives her family a lot of credit. The following video will undoubtedly inspire you!
The Canadian Olympic Committee has chosen 8 great values that should guide and animate both fans and athletes during their adventure. According to the COC, “(…) the experience and life discipline gained through athletic preparation, competition and teamwork are even more rewarding assets than any medal won.”
ExcellenceWe believe that every human being has theright to pursue personal goals of excellence.
FunWe believe sports should be fun.
JusticeWe believe in fair play at all times and in all places, characterized by equality, honesty and mutual trust.
RespectWe believe in frank and open dialogue, and respect for the perspectives, roles and contributions of all participants.
Human FulfillmentWe believe that physical, mental, social, artistic and spiritual well-being can be enhanced in the short and long term term, through responsible behavior and actions. We also believe that the visual and performing arts complement sport in achieving personal growth.
LeadershipWe believe that people who practice sport have a duty to teach and apply the values of the Olympic Movement, to inspire others to live the Olympic experience and contribute to the realization of their potential.
PeaceWe believe that sport facilitates understanding and harmony within and between nations.
Excerpt from Olympic.ca
Doing sports: yes, but not at any price
Warning! It's easy to be quickly swept away by our child's new interest. And because he seems to have almost found a vocation, we are ready to do anything to allow him to live his dream.
Beforeto buy complete new equipment and register it for a year in a new sport, it is better to test the validity and longevity of its interest before spending our money without thinking too much about it. Many sports can be tried first per session or over shorter periods (6 classes over as many weeks, for example). You will feel less stuck in the throat and at the same time your child will not feel pressure to continue if he does not like it. So everyone wins!
When the adored athlete suffers a tough defeat or gets caught up in a sports doping trick, it is only natural that the gilding of the athlete crumbles. And it is up to you, as parents, to set the record straight. As much as the influence of athletes can be positive, their bad actions can tarnish their reputation and also become a very bad example. You can visit the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport for good initiatives to promote pure play and the joy of effort.
Live the Olympics
Enjoy the Olympics as a family to bond and do activities together. Here are some great ideas:
- Decide on an event that you would like to watch together. Become, for example, the judges for the ski jumps or for the figure skating competition. Make small cards from 1 to 10 to mark the athletes. See if your assessments will be the same as the judges on site.
- Go play outside and create little challenges in the snow or on the ice with family and friends! It's going to be a great day.
- Support local teams in your city. Why not? You don't have to pay top dollar to watch a good hockey game!
- Take the opportunity to read books about the Olympic Games: documentaries, but also novels that depict these gatherings. See our selection:
2014 SochiThe Canadian Olympic Committee's website that tracks athlete performance and encourages them throughout the Olympic days.
2014 Olympic Games in SochiOfficial website of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games
Canadian Olympic School ProgramAn interesting program to discover: the Canadian Olympic School Program
Coaching Association of CanadaIt's not just kids who are inspired by the Olympics, you could be too. A site for all future coaches and for parents who follow children in their sporting adventure.
- The Influence of SportWritten by the True Sport Movement, a Canadian sport and community organization, this report shows how sport can positively influence a wide range of societal goals, including child and youth development, crime prevention, education, social inclusion, and economic sustainabilityand environmental.