Bringing the World Together Through Sports

In 2020 the US will have a major Presidential election, and millions of people around the world will be following this significant event. The world will watch to see which Democrat in the large field will take on Republican President Donald Trump, who has already made a significant impression on the world stage and will be seeking his second term. With such a significant event, comes significant controversy, which can create high tensions across the United States and the world. I want to explore ways in which we can relieve those tensions and bring people together.

I have always found sports to be one of the best ways to unite people together, both in difficult times and times of high tensions. In 2013, I was a freshman in college in Springfield, Massachusetts, when the Boston Red Sox won their 8th World Series title a few months after the Boston Marathon bombing. After the tragedy, the entire New England region was electrified by Red Sox favorites like David Ortiz, who played with passion and gave his region a reason to unite and be excited.As a Mets fan and a New Yorker, Mike Piazza’s infamous home run in the first baseball game played in New York City after September 11th will always send chills down my spine. This one home run electrified an entire city and showed that life would go on.While the election doesn’t bring the tragedy that these events did, it will surely bring high tensions. Thankfully, we still have sports in our nation and around the world that will keep us occupied and reminds us of all the amazing opportunities available to each of us every day.In college, I always found sports to be one of the best ways to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. I could easily strike up a conversation with someone I never knew just by wearing a Mets or Manchester United jersey around campus. It was a great ice-breaker and conversation starter.Whether we realize it or not, sports has already brought the world closer together. For example, in soccer, it is extremely common for players to play anywhere in the world. Soccer players from the United States have played for teams in England, France, and Germany. Baseball, arguably America’s favorite past time, has become extremely popular in Central and South America and Japan. Several players from all over the world have come to the United States to hone their skills.While there are major elections every year, 2020 will be a very special year because of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The Olympics, one of the best and longest-lasting traditions in the sporting world, originated in Ancient Greece and will bring thousands of athletes from all corners of the world to Japan this summer to compete for their nation and their fans. As with any Olympics, Winter or Summer, it is anticipated that hundreds of millions of fans will tune in to catch their favorite athlete compete on the world’s stage.One of the best parts about the Olympics is the sportsmanship that the athletes continue to show for one another. Politics don’t matter when you step onto the soccer field or the track; the only thing that matters is giving your all for yourself, your team, and your country.This year, I am particularly excited to see the US Women’s National Soccer Team win the Gold medal following their dominant World Cup championship last year. The tournament will be a major challenge for new head coach Vlatko Andovski, who recently took over from successful coach Jill Ellis, who resigned after her second World Cup victory.And the best part is I know that I am not alone in this feeling. Millions of Americans (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and those politically unaffiliated), will be watching our teams compete in some of the best sports in the world against the best talent across the world. Afterward, we will all be better for it in finding a way to come together and celebrate our common ground.No matter your favorite sport, the Olympics has something for everyone, from track, to soccer, to swimming, there are plenty of reasons for hundreds of millions across the world to watch. In the heat of a major US political campaign filled with high tensions, I look forward to conversing with others about these epic events and seeing what it will mean for people uniting all across the world for one of the most incredible sporting events in history.The 2020 Summer Olympics will run from July 24-August 9. Be sure to catch at least a few events this year and talk to others about it!

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