How Science and the Olympics Can Learn From Each Other

How Science and the Olympics Can Learn From Each Other

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Every four years, the countries of the world meet to discover whose citizens can run faster, jump higher and otherwise surpass those of other nations in a wide range of athletic and sporting activities. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, medals will be won, records will be broken, achievements will be celebrated — and close eyes will be kept on tables showing which countries have outperformed their rivals.

Inevitably, the competitive spirit will dominate. In this, the games act as a giant metaphor for the global economy, in which competition is lauded as a driving force that will ensure a general rise in standards, even among those who aspire to — but do not necessarily reach — the highest levels of achievement. But behind this there is a less celebrated aspect. The games also represent an achievement in cooperation, both at a national and international level. In team sports, cooperation among team members is obviously essential. And at the Olympics, countries put aside (most of) their political differences and demonstrate a common commitment to a system from which, at the end of the day, all participants should benefit.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial