The Olympics is About More Than Athletics
Thanks to the various NBC networks covering the Olympics and despite the time zone difference, you can’t turn on your TV or streaming device without seeing the incredibly gifted athletes representing their country on the worldwide stage.
The Tokyo Olympics is the biggest ever, with 339 events across 41 different sports, including a few new ones added this year: 3×3 basketball, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and karate, as well as the return of baseball and softball.
The best of the best competing to be THE best in the world.
But this Olympics has been a bit different than what we’ve seen at the Games in the past.
On the topic of gender equality, it is expected that nearly half of the competitors this year will be female, the largest representation since 1900 when women made their first Olympic appearance. We’re also seeing for the first time, teams featuring both men and women.
Mental health has been front and center this year with athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka bringing this important topic to the forefront, reminding us that mental health is “health” and should be taken as seriously as an athlete’s physical health.
There have been a few controversies as well regarding racism, sexism and human rights violations; Norway’s women’s beach handball team wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms during a game to Australia’s official uniform potentially being made with Xinjiang cotton, which has been linked to forced labor and major human rights violations.
What will the impact be of the Olympics in the weeks and months after the medals have been won? Will these conversations continue? Will changes be made? Will these changes trickle down to local communities, local businesses?
The Copper State of Mind podcast this week is about the lessons we can learn from the Olympics, because after all, it is about more than just athletics.
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