The ‘Olympic Spirit’ Thrives Despite Bad Behavior in Rio’s Summer Games

Kimberly Winston

And so the quadrennial international ritual known as the Summer Olympic Games is over.

This year’s games in Rio de Janeiro have been marred by some pretty bad behavior — gold medalist Ryan Lochte acknowleged “over-exaggerating” an account that he and three other Team USA swimmers were held at gunpoint; an Egyptian athlete refused to shake the hand of his triumphant Israeli opponent; an Olympic official was charged with scalping tickets, and several athletes were robbed at gunpoint.

But for every example of pettiness and mendacity there has been another example of the Olympic spirit — what Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern games, defined as an attitude that transcends nationalism and brings out the finest in the human spirit — generosity, honesty and good sportsmanship.

So, as the Rio Games concluded with pomp, ritual and samba-infused performances, here are some examples of the athletes and fans who are taking home gold medals in the Olympic spirit.

“This is why we do the Olympics,” political scientist Ian Bremmer said on Twitter. Another Twitter user said, “Sports brings everyone together.”


Courtesy: Religion News Service

Photo: Nikki Hamblin, left, of New Zealand stops running during the race to help fellow competitor Abbey D'Agostino of the U.S. after D'Agostino suffered a cramp during the preliminary women's 5000m Round 1 in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016.

Photo courtesy: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenback

Publication date: August 23, 2016

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