Talking Points: The Olympic Ethos

A collection of imagery and sources designed to introduce children to the Olympic ethos.

Please note that this page contains links to external websites and has videos from external websites embedded. At the time of creating, AccessArt checked all links to ensure content is appropriate for teachers to access. However, external websites and videos are updated and that is beyond our control. 

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ages 5-8
ages 9-11
ages 11-14
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Olympic Values

“The three values of Olympism are excellence, respect and friendship. They constitute the foundation on which the olympic movement builds its activities to promote sport, culture and education with a view to building a better world.

The original values of Olympism as expressed in the Olympic Charter were to “encourage effort”, “preserve human dignity” and “develop harmony”.

Over time, they have evolved and are now expressed in more contemporary terms as:

  • Striving for excellence and encouraging people to be the best they can be.

  • Demonstrating respect in many different manners: respect towards yourself, the rules, your opponents, the environment, the public, etc.

  • Celebrating friendship, which is quite unique to the Olympic Games – an event that brings people together every few years.

This is the idea of setting your rivalries aside. There is more that unites us than divides us.

Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” – IOC

Download a pdf about Olympisim and the Olympic values.

Questions to Ask Children

How can you bring the values of the Olympics into your everyday life?

Which Olympic value is your favourite and why?

If you could make up your own Olympic value, what would it be and why?

The Olympic Rings

Questions to Ask Children

What do you think the 5 rings represent?

Being an Olympian

Questions to Ask Children

What do you see in these videos?

Can you spot any Olympic Values in action? Where?

How do the videos make you feel? Why?

The Olympian Refugee Team

Questions to Ask Children

Why is it important that there is an Olympic team for refugee communities? What is the purpose and how does it align with the Olympic ethos?

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