My father taught me how to swim in the shallow waters of Long Island Sound. I tried to relax as he supported my seven-year old frame with two arms. At first, when he slid them away, I crumpled, going under. Eventually though, under his patient tutelage, I learned how to trust the water would buoy me.
Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management at the GWU School of Business, has been leading groups of students to Olympic Games and World Cups since 1992. I asked her some questions about this business-related twist on study abroad while in Sochi.
In this fourth and final part of my interview with Michelle Kwan, the figure skating icon talks about her work supporting the Special Olympics and speaking up for young people worldwide with intellectual disabilities.
The Olympics have always had a history of pausing wars, bringing nations together and displaying some of the best patriotism & athleticism worldwide. ...
Would you like your child to be an Olympic athlete one day? You would need to start the training early. It starts in the womb. While going 90 miles ...
Critics claim the violence in Ukraine has 'cast a shadow' over Sochi. The shadow of death? But the media has already cast one of those, with its endless probing of accidental deaths of athletes in training and competition, or the deaths of athletes' loved ones, or athletes' miscarriages, all to plumb the human spirit's capacity of "labouring under the shadow of death" to earn the life-choosing glory of Olympic victory. The carnage then in Ukraine doesn't cast a shadow on the Sochi Games. Instead it casts a light on something true about us, something we may already know but don't think much about, something Mark Twain was getting at when he said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
I have been a volunteer for Special Olympics for the past 8 years. Each October we have a fund-raising event at the Santa Monica Pier, Pier del Sol,...
Sport and play are our instincts and a human need. Events like the Olympics show us sport's ability to transcend our differences and unite us -- both in victory and defeat. Athletes are the carriers of that power.
Don't misinterpret what I'm trying to say. I fully believe that the fifth ring failure was mere a technical glitch and not some subliminal message. But I also believe that this incident can serve as a potent symbol of the current state of affairs between Russia and America.
Those with intellectual and developmental disabilities number in the hundreds of millions, yet they too often live in the shadows of society. Subject to stigma, prejudice, shame, and abuse, they are often denied access to food, school, health care, and social integration.
It would be unfair for the world to judge the artistic merit of the ceremony on the basis of this one technical fault, as the rest of the staging was flawless. Art may deserve a bit more flexibility in terms of how we evaluate success, compared to sport, where only perfection matters.
How many rejection letters can one person take? They are our version of the torn Achilles before the big game, the participation medals and last place finishes. But still, like that flying tomato boy, we go on.
I am convening the African Leaders Forum on Disability in partnership with Special Olympics so that a marginalized population long unrecognized does not remain in the shadows. I consider this a critical, moral and practical challenge.
When they win, we win. When they struggle, we struggle. From the comfort of our homes, we get to see the best of being human. They remind us of who we are and who we hope to be. For a moment, we get to share their journey and their victory.
Some athletes even take their hard won notoriety and maybe those endorsements they worked so hard to get, and they go on to start or support charities to help others better their lives.
I have struggled with Own the Podium since it was first introduced. Nobody wants our athletes to succeed more than I do. But I would caution that the single-minded pursuit of medals is a recipe for ultimate failure. Why? Because the goal is both artificial and superficial.