7:10 am, the music starts again and the participants of the IOA session are slowly coming out of their rooms for morning sport and breakfast. It is going to be another very busy day!
First thing we did, was walking to the archaeological site of ancient Olympia, which is a 15 minute walk from our village. We received a guided tour and learned a lot about the first Olympic Games that took place in Olympia. Further to the site, we went to visit the museum that was in the city of Olympia. It was very interesting and indeed very informational, almost too much new information to digest in such a short amount of time.
The Olympic Games have come a long long way…
Around noon, we were then free for some time and a lot of us went to the city to have lunch there and also do some shopping for souvenirs.
Additionally, throughout the rest of our stay here, we will have Artistic activities as well as sport activities. The IOA offers sports like beach volley, tennis, basketball, ping pong, football and so forth. As for the artistic activities, they offer dance, poetry and fine arts. So we had to go sign up for what we wanted to do. Unfortunately, I still can’t do any sports more than my rehab, so artistic activities it is. I am probably going to do the dance, but good thing I don’t have to decide until tomorrow. 🙂
We than had our first lecture with Prof. Dr Stephan Wassong from Germany who talked about “Ethics and Governance in the Olympic Movement” and went into details of the doping case and doping control and so forth. In my opinion, this was the best lecture so far. We than had another lecture from Prof. Dr. Milena M. Parent from Canada who was discussing “The Structures of Sport and “Good Governance””.
The lectures were followed by a question and answer by the participants and then again the 11 different discussion groups. Yesterday we came up with 2 questions to discuss and present at the end of the week, so today we discussed and analyzed the first question that we came up with, which is “Sacrificing childhood to win a gold medal?”. It was an incredibly interesting discussion and the 2 hours discussion session went by so fast, it felt like we could have discussed that for another couple of hours. Good thing we have another session tomorrow! 🙂
Now to the most fun part! There are 3 social evenings in these two weeks. At the social evenings, ever nation came up with a quick presentation of their country, through a dance, singing or fun games or food and drinks. It was our turn along with Canada, France, Chinese Tapai, Paraguay, Austria, Argentina, Zambia, Croatia, Italy, Japan, Ecuador and Columbia. What a fun night, we got to task different specialties from different countries and see different dances or fun gams.
We did a cycling tour de Switzerland. We started off in Zurich where we would talk about the Swiss Banks and basically we distributed chocolate money to the participants. We then went on to talk about Bern, the mountains and the Lauberhorn ski race. We actually created a ski race where everybody had to pretend to be sking down the Lauberhorn. Then we cycled to Lausanne where we talked about the IOC, the International Federations and so forth. We moved on to Zermatt where we talked about the Matterhorn and distributed Toblerone chocolate to everyone. From there we went to the Italian part of Switzerland and went over to the Alps to distribute Ricola candy and on the final stretch back to Zurich, we stopped at the lake of Zurich at the Lindt chocolate factory to distribute their chocolate.
It was a lot of chocolate from us, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.. It was such a great and fun night; I am looking very much forward to the next 2 nights!