And through the Unity of Sport, the Winter Olympic Games kicked off with athletes from both North Korea and the South Korea marching together. In attendance were the US Vice President Mike Pence and Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. They watched the Ceremonies seats apart, and yes the curtain was cold between them. But so what! They were in the same place at the same time. That’s the power the Unity of Sport has to bring us all together!
Through the Unity of Sport we join together, silence our differences and put our best on the line. We use the Unity of Sport to erase our political diversity and embrace what we all share. We are humans. We have the same bodies. We live on the only planet any of us can. Our needs are the same. The basics are feeling loved, being included, and knowing we are accepted for what’s important to each of us. We all feel better when we laugh and feel deep fulfillment to care for those in need.
No ideology wins a gold. Yes, there are advantages because of circumstance. A Jamaican team from the tropics competing in the Winter Games does not have the same location advantage of say a US contingent that has 242 athletes. But that’s not the point.
The Unity Of Sport says regardless of your age, ideology, religious belief, political affiliation or family heritage we will gather and speak the same language. We will all use the same yardstick and cheer by the same measure of greatness.
During my career there were countries I could not compete in because of policies my government had in place that band it. There were great athletes I would never meet on the race course because their governments didn’t permit them to travel. That was not the Unity of Sport. But today is better!
So on the most basic level you and I, from far and wide, would be hard to be seen as separate or different under almost every measure of our most basic makeup. Indeed, it’s mind boggling that our 0.5% difference can create such incredible divide and separation.
Certainly every person on this planet is unique. There is no other that is just like you or like me. But the difference is what the Unity of Sport overlooks. It cheers the positives of our 0.5% uniqueness rather than using it to alienate us from each other. The Unity of Sport applauds our small but impactful individuality through the measure of a scant second gained or a point earned. And through that we see that it’s our humanness, our inner strength and deep trust in life that helps us rise up to our greatest potential. That is what inspires us all to be better.
Let’s all join together. MarkAllenCoaching.
I am the Founder and CEO at Mark Allen Coaching. I am proud to have been voted in an ESPN global poll "The Greatest Endurance Athlete Of All Time." During my multi-sport career I won the Ironman Triathlon World Championship six time, the inaugural Triathlon World Championship at the Olympic Distance in Avignon, France, and at one point in my career I won 21 straight races across every derivation and distance. It was a great career, but that's all it would ever be unless I was able to share all of the experience and methodology we invented long before smart watches, power meters, and flashy uniforms. That's why I started Mark Allen Coaching, as a way to return to others at least the part of the gifts I received.