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For community cohesion and social inclusion
Published:  25 Aug 2021

European Week of Sport reflected in the Olympic Spirit at Tokyo 2020

Highjumper crossing the bar

Acting together

If something positive has come out of this time, it’s the spirit of togetherness. When acting together as a community, nothing can prevent us reaching our goals.

Difficult period

During this difficult period, we have shown resilience, sacrifice and generosity. In many ways, the philosophy of the Olympic spirit is embedded in our European values. The promise of shared improvement and the search for peace is what first spurred the EU project into being.

The Olympic spirit embodies these values and this is reflected in the spirit of #BeActive. We can encourage others to do better, to improve daily and to lead healthier lives. In that vein, the process itself is often the greatest reward.

Connected through sport

Even though fewer people than usual were in the stands at Tokyo, the Games exceeded expectations in achieving record audiences who watched from home.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics connected more fans than ever before. Over 100 million unique users visited the Olympic digital platforms or used the Tokyo 2020 app, according to the International Olympic Committee.

On the social media video platform TikTok, there are more than five billion views of video relating to the #OlympicSpirit.

Ultimately, this shows the how sport reaches people from every part of the planet. No matter your age, social background or fitness level, sport is for everyone.

Individual inspiration

Sport is competitive by nature, yet the Olympics bring people and nations together. There are numerous instances where individuals from different nations teach the world a powerful lesson about cooperation.

Sport demonstrates how people can still get along and how personal stories provide inspiration.

During the Tokyo Olympics, we witnessed

  • an Italian and Qatari athlete share a gold medal for the men’s high jump
  • two Croatian teams facing each other in the tennis men’s doubles final
  • 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya win gold in women’s skateboarding
  • 46-year-old Rune Glifberg participate in men’s skateboarding

We also saw top athletes such Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka open up about mental health and the pressure of expectations. This is important because although many of us see them as heroes, we sometimes forget that heroes are still human, and often fight the same battles that we do.

Resilience Exemplified

If there is one take away from this year’s Olympics, it is that Tokyo 2020 exemplified resilience.

Host nation Japan set out to use the Olympics to showcase its recovery from past disasters and step into the future.

Now that the Olympic torch makes its way towards Europe for Paris 2024, this year’s European Week of Sport (EWoS) continues to emphasise the message of togetherness.

EWoS 2021 focuses on the power of physical activity to create joy, build resilience and connect generations.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will go down in history as a reminder of how humanity continues to do itself credit by being united.

The legacy of the Tokyo 2020 will resonate for ages, but in the meantime, while we wait for Paris 2024, let’s #BeActive!

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Tagged in:  EWoS 2021
Published:  25 Aug 2021