Iconic scenes from Rio2016: Will the power of sport ever transcend its shores?

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SoutEgypt vs German beach volleyballh Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie

The ongoing Olympic games in Rio has served up some iconic scenes. The Games is usually known for its goosebumps-inducing effect when it’s time for medal presentation or when those contests go interestingly keen. But Rio2016 has added a twist.

Yesterday, the pictures from a female volleyball game between Germany and Egypt rocked the Internet for its contrasting peculiarities.

The outfit used by the Egyptians, Nada Meawad and Doaa Elghobashy, who also covered her head with a hijab, was in stark contrast to their German rivals Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst who stuck to the sport’s traditional two-piece outfit for the clash last night.

Egypt vs German beach volleyball

South Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie South Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie South Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie 36FBD4A800000578-0-image-a-9_1470641685082 South Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie 36FC213600000578-0-image-a-2_1470641631742

Another iconic moment happened on Sunday during the Gymnastics sessions. South Korea’s Lee Eun Ju and North Korean gymnast Hong Un Jong shared an amicable moment that belied the bitter feud between their home nations.

South Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie

The pair were seen chatting and laughing together as they prepared to compete in the qualification for the artistic women’s gymnastics. Then, they took the selfie that poses to be one of the best pictures of the year.

South Korea and North Korea gymnasts selfie

The Daily Mail actually called it the volleyball match of “the cover-ups versus the cover-nots“, the Sun Newspaper tagged it a “culture shock“. Looking at the pictures from this particular game though, all I see is what the world lacks in huge means. I see Intentional Tolerance, the ability to disagree with other’s views and opinions without the itch for violence or wars, and doing so intentionally.

Seeing all this, I’m perturbed and I ask why the field of sports seems to be the only place where humanity isn’t blinded, bounded and biased by creed or religion? I ask why can’t the intentional tolerance that behoves every athlete in Rio to simply compete with mutual understanding and reciprocal respect, transcend into the daily lives of people across the world?

In “normal” circumstances in the outside world, those Egyptian volley-ballers would have stood the chance of judging those German ladies as infidels who deserve death. And don’t we all know the mostly unnecessary and unfounded hot and cold war between the southern and northern spheres of Korea?

See a clip from the Egypt versus Germany game below:

Well, I’ve been in situations where I did disagree with other people’s beliefs. I’ve had moment where I believe that their view is either counterproductive or bereft of commonsense.

But in those moments, instead of allowing myself self clouded with hate or disdain, I intentionally tolerate them out of respect for humanity. I believe in that fact and fatwa of “Live and Let Live.”

Rio2016 is giving us lessons to live by. Germany won the match by 2-0. The Egyptian ladies did their thing, both teams enjoyed their commitment, and no hell was let loose.

I hope Al-qaeda discern this, I hope intolerant Christians discern this, I hope Boko haram discern this, I hope all of us discern this! I’m asking for the impossible? Yeah, right there, lies our common failure. I just hope that one day in our world, we’d all be Olympian in our approach to life – compete, have fun, win, lose, tolerate, embrace.

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