So I am currently in Athens with the International Olympic Academy (IOA) at the 57th International Session for Young Participants. A lot of people have asked me what that is and what I am doing there, so here comes the answer. 🙂
What is the IOA? The IOA is the main international educational and cultural organization that aimes to promote the Olympic Spirit and develops the Olympic Education. Every National Olympic Committees is able to send up to 3 people from their country to the IOA session which takes place every summer in Athens and the ancient Olympia archaeological site. Swiss Olympic offered two positions for this trip to Greece, thus I applied for this session. As you can guess, I am very interested in the Olympic Spirit and Movement and everything about the Olympics in general, therefore I did not want to miss this chance. It is important to know that it is not just athletes or olympians that can participate here. Everyone has a different background and different connection to the Olympic movement.
I, along with Severin, got picked to represent Switzerland at the two week long IOA session. We received a backpack full with Swiss Olympic giveaways to give to all the other participants and a lot of information about the values of Swiss Olympic that we follow, such as EXCELLENCE, FRIENDSHIP and RESPECT.
Additionally, throughout the session, there are multiple social evenings, where every country has to present their country, through singing, dancing or a culinary speciality. Basically just show something that is famous from your country. Can you guess what Severin and me planned?
On Saturday at 1pm we left Zurich in direction of Athens, where we met a bunch of other participants once we landed at the airport. When we got to the hotel, we did not know who our roommates are going to be, so it was exciting when opening the door and see who was in there. I am rooming with Unge, who is from Lithuania.
The same group of people that I met at the airport, decided to go outside and check out what is around our hotel, so we ended up going to the Public library and the opera house that was right across the street from our hotel. The weather was cloudy but nice but unfortunately just as we made our way back to the hotel it started to rain really heavy.
We then had dinner, where we met a couple more people that have arrived either earlier or later than us. It is very nice to meet so many new people from different countries and different backgrounds so I am very much looking forward to the upcoming 2 weeks and all the activities and lectures we are going to have.
I will try to post every day for the next 2 weeks, so you can all follow my journey with the International Olympic Academy!