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Photo by Christopher Johnson

Photo by Christopher Johnson

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Sports allow us to celebrate similarity even though we are different regardless of where we live. Even with the variety of people that coexist in our world, we all come together for a common goal: a bit of healthy competition.

Across the United States, one fond memory that almost all high school students tend to have is the memories of cheering at high school football games, especially if you are a Bingham Miner. But just like how football brings together our family of miners, sport all around the world does the same for the entire human race. It is one of the most unifying tools that we have utilized thus far. “No other social activity brings people together in such great numbers, and with so much passion and enjoyment,” said Wilfried Lemke the special advisor to the UN Secretary-General of Sport Development and Peace. Lemke was reappointed to his position last fall and looks to sports as “an important enabler for sustainable development”. The need for healthy competition and team nationalism is what drives us. As Americans are known for their love for football, and India is known for their love of cricket, individual nations all have something that can pull us all together in a heartbeat.

However, as there are events that bring us together as a nation there are also events that bring us together as an entire world. For example, one of the most popular sports around the world is soccer, or football, all depending on where you are from. It is referred to as the “beautiful game” around the world and it has fans that go as far as Asia to Australia clear back to South America. However, this sport is most popular for most, if not all, European nations. Just like how the U.S. has the Super Bowl, the entire world comes together to watch the FIFA World Cup. But the most amazing part about this is that even once your nation that you were supporting was out, whoever it came down to in finals each team would have a support system that stretched all the way around the world.

Though soccer has its wide stretch of popularity, there is one more sporting event that illustrates celebrating similarity through our differences, The Olympics. Not one sport, not one race, not one ethnicity, but one world with so many people with so much to share. That is the beauty of the Olympics. “The Olympics brings us together as ‘one human family,’ said Pope Francis. In the upcoming winter of 2018, there are 20+ sports scheduled and in the upcoming summer of 2020, there are 33 sports scheduled. The Olympics allow us to come together for weeks and celebrate our teams and nations but as ‘one human family’. Regardless of what is going on in the world, the Olympics tend to put a positive spin on things because it forces us to be there for one another when one of our brothers or sisters are in need.

“Sport doesn’t just empower on an individual basis; it also unites and inspires people collectively, which builds communities,” said Lemke. That should be our end goal. To build a community in which we all coexist and appreciate similarity through our differences.

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World Sports