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Greetings from Greece and the International Olympic Academy
Greetings from Greece!
The 53rd International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy began on Tuesday, June 11, where approximately 180 attendees representing 91 countries arrived in Athens, Greece. The session is from June 11-25 and the focus is on Olympic Legacy: The empowerment of Olympism through youth, where we have been looking at lasting ways the Olympic Movement can create change.
On our first day in Athens, we toured the Panathenaic Stadium, an 1896 Olympic Games venue, and the Acropolis, an ancient citadel containing the Parthenon. We had time to explore the museum and get to know the other participants while learning about the history of Greece.
As we ventured to the International Olympic Academy, which is nestled in Ancient Olympia, we stopped at Delphi. Athletes from Greece would gather to compete in the Pythian Games, which is known as the precursor of the modern Olympic Games. Delphi is the site of the Delphic oracle and is also a major site for the worship of the Greek god Apollo.
Finally, we arrived in Ancient Olympia on Thursday, which has been virtually a whirlwind ever since. Our lectures include daily visiting professors and break-out discussions groups. But despite the time in the lectures, asking questions, and analyzing the Olympic Movement, my most enjoyable experience has been meeting the delegates from around the world. Specifically, I have met one athlete from Finland that competes in triathlons and others that have approached me that are more foreign to the sport.
What amazes me is how quickly we can learn about others in just six days and even more, see delegates that are experiencing conflicts among their country sit together and carry on a conversation.
My experience has included lively discussion and sometimes heated debate. However, I am looking to understand how to bring the Olympic education model back into the U.S. and provide a more structured and sound representation of the Olympic Movement and the values and principles that we attempt to uphold as athletes.
As a triathlete myself and representing the National Governing Body of USA Triathlon, I aspire to combine the education learned here and my daily operations at the office. Although it may take some time, I am looking forward to getting ideas to bring back and share with the multisport community.
If you are interested in listening to the live or recorded sessions (depending on the time difference) please visit www.ioa-sessions.org. Also, if there are any questions you would like to see asked as a multisport fan or athlete, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.