At first, the idea might seem sophomoric, almost silly. But the more you think about it, the more the concept resonates. With few exceptions –the 1972 Olympic basketball game between the USSR and USA being one- sporting events on the international stage have been hugely harmonious, demonstrating that athletes from all sorts of political/economic/ethnic backgrounds can compete, even-keeled, as good, fair-handed sportspersons all.
The SI article examined youth-sports initiatives in a number of developing and challenged countries, noting how athletic programs, stressing hard work and team work, were helping kids to achieve a more positive perspective of themselves, and of their communities. As these initiatives mount and take hold, the end result might be that a kid from some dust-choked field in
That would certainly be a more positive interaction than Afghans and Americans currently experience.
Good sportsmanship is something all cultures accept and embrace. Athletic competition is governed by rules and regulations that are universally understood. Along with music, mathematics…and love, sports might be one of the few things the whole world can truly and enthusiastically embrace.
So that’s what I plan on discussing at the International Sports Heritage gathering, how sports might be a path to peace, and how ISHA might collaborate to promote an idea whose game-clock is just beginning to tick, tick, tick.
Thanks, Sports Illustrated! Full Article
Mike Gibbons is the executive director for the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc.