Olympic is heating up everywhere. For many athletes, being in Olympics is already a success. This success is even more important than a gold medal, since it is the strong proof that you have been excelling; you progress. Loss and win are nature of competition, however, as one said: success is a journey, not a destination. Olympic encourages athletes to focus on self-progression in life and in sport, which is so-called “excellence” – one of its core values.
In the spirit of the Games, Omar Khassal, ISF young ambassador of table tennis for the period 2016 – 2018, will share with us what “excellence” means for the young school sport generation. Omar is also a potential player of team England. He is currently ranked 7th in the U17 in all England. He started playing table tennis at the age of 10. For him, it is very inspiring to watch Olympic Games 2016 as competing for his national team is his main goal.
As all my friends and teammates, I enjoy watching Olympic events. Since the beginning of the Olympic games I have mainly watched the sports of table tennis and read about other sports including swimming and tennis. Overall I am extremely satisfied with the performance of my favourite team (Team GB) in the Table Tennis event. Paul Drinkhall has shocked the world and was able to make it to the round of 16, beating players ranked within the top 20 of the world. I am also very happy with Brazil’s Hugo Calderano as he has kept Brazil’s dream alive and created and amazing Olympic atmosphere both in Rio and all the way across the world back in London. I believe that both these athletes have truly inspired me and represented the Olympic value of excellence as they have pushed their limits reaching rounds against world class players.
Many of us see winning as the most important objective in the Olympic. However, I do not feel the same way. It is even more important to always giving your best in all performance and to reach beyond one’s limits and beyond the goals. I believe that the most important aspect of the Olympics is developing individual learning skills along the way, creating valuable memories and ultimately, bringing different cultures, communities, organisations and people together across the world in the same true spirit of the Olympic sports. This is what truly makes you excellent in life; not just winning medals.
I believe Adriana Díaz from Puerto Rico has demonstrated the value of excellence. She is the age of 15, which is very young in the Olympic Games, but she has reached the second round. I find it truly inspiring for the younger generation of female table tennis. Her personality and sport spirit is touching even across the world through a TV screen and is truly excellent.
Practising sport in schools for years, I believe that school games also promote the Olympic values. School sport tournaments like ISF World Schools Championships helps bring the value “excellence” to young athletes. ISF championships always support its students to give the best over themselves and to target their self-progression. Being excellent is being yourself, at a better stage. To strengthen the promotion of the Olympic values I would recommend to all young ISF athletes around the world to be themselves and remember that sport involves more than winning and losing, it involves respect, friendship and excellence.