Τετάρτη , 22 Νοέμβριος 2017
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Home / Άρθρα / Israel celebrates the Olympic Day! γράφει η Yarden Har Lev

Israel celebrates the Olympic Day! γράφει η Yarden Har Lev

On July 23rd 1894, the participants of the Paris Athletics Congress unanimously voted to renew the Olympic Games, as was offered by the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, making it the birth date of the Olympic movement in the new age and the date of the first-in-the-world international Olympics Day.

On June 23rd 1978, for the first time in the Olympic Charter, the International Olympic Committee recommended the National Olympic Committees to hold an Olympics Day to further the Olympic movement: «NOCs are recommended to organize an Olympic day regularly (if possible annually) to further the Olympic movement».

Throughout the years, the Olympic day developed into the only international celebration of the Olympic movement, a development that helped to spread the Olympic values to all the corners of the world.

The Olympic year in Israel is very significant, and therefore the Olympic committee holds a line of events throughout the year to captivate the public with the charm of the Olympic dream, and by so to learn about values of excellence, friendship, and respect, which are the three core values of the Olympic movement. In that spirit, The Center for Olympic Studies at the Academic College at Wingate, in cooperation with the Olympic Committee of Israel, has celebrated the International Olympic day with two events, both of an academic nature, yet very different from one another.

The first event, which was held to commemorate this special day, was the 1st Olympic Quiz on the subject of the Olympic movement on all aspects, since then until now. The rationale behind the Olympic Quiz was way beyond a colorful and amusing event as it usually is in social games or a TV show of that genre. Hence, it presented a new concept that enables to share and gain knowledge in a different methodical way that inspires learning a topic that is an integral part of the essence of our lives in general and the Olympic year in particular.

Thus, the main goals of the Olympic Quiz were:

  1. Raising the awareness among students and turning them into «educated Scouts» who are familiar with the Olympic Games and their values.
  2. Turning the students into «creative researchers» by studying the Olympic topics by fun learning game.
  3. Creating a social learning environment that encourages students to play learning games together.
  4. Fostering deepened pedagogical impact.

The Olympic Quiz was written by the experts in the Israeli sports, especially for students majoring in Physical Education at the Academic College at Wingate, and it was conducted in two stages: the first stage – a written screening test, where the 10 contesters with the highest score passed on to the next stage; the second stage – the grand finale which was held publicly in front of an audience, eventually led to the crowning of the Olympic Quiz winner.

The atmosphere was very festive and the Olympic wind blew in all directions. The hall was decorated with the colors of the Olympic symbol and photos of Olympic athletes. During the event, films related to the contents of the quiz were screened, while the judges added personal stories that enriched the audience and the participants. The final moments of tension before awarding prizes to the winners were relieved by the gymnastics team in a spectacular artistic sequence, integrating the Olympic rings to the sound of the Israeli song – «Like In Rio».

The best part of the Olympic Quiz, and without a doubt the most meaningful one, was that everyone who was involved in the event, whether actively or passively, got a chance to think and understand the meaning of the Olympic Games: that the most important thing is not winning or losing, but the knowledge and ability to play the game fairly, an essence that can serve us in our daily lives, making it the true prize!

The Olympic Quiz’s awarding ceremony led directly to the second event that took place a week later on June 23rd, as a part of an Academic Seminar in reference to the Olympic Games in Rio. That day was filled with fascinating lectures on the Olympic Sports, both from the Israeli perspective and the international one, presented by key individuals who arrived in Israel especially to celebrate the International Olympic day.

The guest of honor at the semiar was the legendary runner, Wilson Kipketer, who held the world record at the 800 metres (1:41.11) for 13 years, and 2 times Olympic medalist in 800m (silver in Sydney 2000 and Bronze in Athens 2004). He lectured on his days as a Kenyan athlete who represented Denmark and talked about his personal view of the Olympic Games and their influence on his life. Additionally, he talked about how it feels to be a world record holder, and said it is a feeling that is hard to describe – «you feel as if you are the best in the world, even when you are not competing», sharing his point of view and his activity for the Olympic education of the younger generation.

Mr. Janez Kocijancic, Vice-President of the European Olympic Committee (EOC) and Honorary President of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (1991-2014), lectured on Slovenia’s way toward sports achievements at the International Arena ever since they started participating in the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992. Immediately after, Mr. Gilad (Gili) Lustig – CEO of the Olympic Committee of Israel, spoke on the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, and presented the largest Israeli delegation in history with 47 athletes of whom 53% are women.

The Olympic day ended with an athletics panel hosted by Mrs. Miri Nevo, a broadcaster of the Israeli Sports Channel, with the participation of Wilson Kipketer, Rogel Nachum – a retired Israeli Olympic triple jumper and Dmitry Kroytor – Israeli Olympic High Jumper who will participate in the Olympic Games in Rio for the first time in his career.

The two events can be traced back to the reviver of the Modern Olympic Games, the Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who wrote: “I believe that a center of Olympic studies would aid the preservation and progress of my work more than anything else.” To aid the progress of Coubertin’s work, the aim of the Center for Olympic Studies is to share Olympic knowledge through providing information and to heighten the awareness of the academic community and the sports community at large about the Olympics.

About Yarden Har Lev

Η Yarden Har Lev είναι Συντονίστρια του Κέντρου Ολυμπιακών Σπουδών της Ολυμπιακής Επιτροπής του Ισραήλ

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