The 2012 Olympics that just concluded was one of the greatest manifestations of possibility that I had experienced.
My family and I were in the UK just before and during the opening ceremony that made us fortunate enough to feel the energy in the country this great spectacle was taking place. We were not able to witness any sporting events at venues at circumstances required us to return end of July, but we were fortunate to be able to witness this great spectacle on TV and the internet.
The first possibility that was manifested was the participation of almost all the countries of the world, 204 in total and every country having both male and female sportsman. All sports had a women’s version as well resulting in some teams such as USA having more women Olympians. What a great equalizer.
It was amazing to see conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia who do not permit women to drive, having women participating. I was fortunate to switch on the TV to see the women’s 800 m heat where Saudi Arabia’s Sarah Attar was running. Although she came last, she got the biggest applause to show that this was a victory for humanity.
World records were many manifesting that there is no end to improving human performance and endurance. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, Carmelita Jeter of the USA 4x100m relay team establishing a new world record at 40.82 destroying the 27-year old record and Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt of Jamaican 4×100 relay team establishing a new world record at 36.84 will remain in our memories for ever. These amazing human beings showed that we can be individuals stars and teams at the same time.
Stephen Kiprotichof Uganda who won the men’s marathon winning an Olympic medal for Uganda after 40 years and those from other developing nations brings confidence to the millions in these countries that they can be world class not only in sports but also in business, politics, economics, health, education etc.
The ability of the British Olympics team to win the most amount of medals in a century and become 3rd in the medals table after having only 1 gold medal 5 Olympics ago is a manifestation of the ability to achieve what we want to achieve with the right vision, right investment and right planning.
The ability to organize such a complex event, putting up spectacular opening & closing ceremonies with a symphony of history, music, theatre, art, humour, grace & symbolism, using the event to energize a whole nation and using it to strengthen to ‘British’ brand is a manifestation of the leadership possibility within all of us.
The thousands of volunteers who worked as one team is a manifestation of our capacity to give, to make this world a better place. It is heartening to know that the volunteer concept will continue once a week in the UK to attend to various social needs. Imagine the wonders we can create if at least a small fraction of humanity gets involved in voluntary work. We do volunteer when there is a crisis or when there is an event such as the Olympics and we need to use that same energy to make volunteering a way of life.
Finally the Olympics were a manifestation of having a peaceful world. It is amazing to see Olympians from Iran and Iraq, Olympians from Israel and Palestine, Olympians from Rwanda and Burundi competing with each other, talking with each other singing with each other. It is great to see sportspersons helping competitors who fall down, it is great to see sportsman hugging their competitors after events and it is great to see the close friendship between sportspersons of competing nations.
It was apt to have Jon Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ as one of the songs at the closing ceremony. The meaningful lyrics of the songs are given below with the video of the song from the closing ceremony thereafter;
Imagine there’s no heaven, It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today.
Imagine there’s no countries, It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too, Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You, you may say, I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, And the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man, Imagine all the people sharing all the world.
You, you may say, I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.
See, John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ being sung by children at the London 2012 closing ceremony, in the video below. This is the wish of our children and it is our duty to make this wish come true to create a better world for them to live in.