Voices of Youth: More to Olympics than winning gold medals

On July 23, we watched as Singapore's flag-bearers marched proudly into Tokyo's Olympic Stadium.

Many of us tuned in on our TVs and smartphones, and cheered our athletes on.

But there is more to the Olympics than winning gold medals.

First, the Olympics are about friendship and fair play.

When athletes from various countries compete in the Games, they keep an open mind, learning from their opponents even as they play.

At the end of the match, regardless of the outcome, they acknowledge and congratulate one another, embodying sportsmanship and mutual respect.

Second, the Olympic values emphasise balance between body, will and mind.

While athletes are often seen as the epitome of physical prowess, their mental health is equally important.

As the Olympics are such an enormous honour for many athletes, they may face immense stress.

Hence, if athletes require a break due to mental health reasons, it is important to support them so that they may recover and come back stronger.

Lastly, we have to remember that the process is far more important than the result.

Even though all we see are the moments when runners cross the finish line, or when swimmers touch the wall, we cannot forget the effort they have put in to even get to the Games.

Regardless of their placings, the effort they have put into training and representing our country must be acknowledged and applauded.

As we watch the final week of the Games, we should remind ourselves of what the event is really about.

To be "Faster, Higher, Stronger" and, most importantly, "Together".

Kooi Xiu Min, 18

JC2 student