CIFP PRESIDENT VISITS THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC YOUTH CAMP IN SLOVAKIA
On 7-9 July 2011, the Slovak Olympic Committee organized the International Olympic Youth Camp in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovak Republic which took place for the second time in Slovakia for the young people from Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Ukraine, Austria, and Croatia. This year around 50 people were united under the motto "We All Have One Dream".
CIFP President Dr. Jenő Kamuti's speech about Fair Play
Motto: Games are for our character what food is to our bodies. And sport is for our nation what language is to our culture.
I'm honoured and pleased to be here today with you, at this wonderful youth camp. When I received the invitation, I particularly appreciated the motto of the camp: "We all have one dream." I remember when I was child, I had a lot of dreams – as probably anyone. Later, only one or two became reality.
One of my greatest dreams became true: it concerned sport. In sport, I found the pleasure of the game, the taste of victory, the value of honesty, friends for life.
An important fact had been recognized by the ancient scholars when they said: A sound mind in a sound body. (Mens sana in corpore sano.) Sport can contribute to the formation of a sound body and it can also shape the soul, our mental ego. But what makes game and sport beautiful, respectable and ethical is Fair Play.
Sport is about games. It is the language of order, the test of the character and the nourishment of the future.
Sport is not only about training the body and putting it to the test, but also about learning order, accepting rules, and through all this, celebrating the values of the community.
"Whatever one does, thinks or says will affect the entire reality of the world."
Sport is rooted in talent, it grows in discipline, and it blooms in devotion. Sportsmen are not only talents, but they must be characters as well because each day they are the servants and simultaneously, the conquerors of their own goals. Why is this so? Because they have no one to lie to. And because if they lie, what they fear the most will come true: they will be left alone and annihilated.
I dare say that today, there is no such area in life in which one could live, play and fight more or less honestly. Sport is the only such realm.
The political powers of an era may determine and change what is important in the economy, what needs to be stressed in the education, what masses need to be given in order to enjoy themselves. Nonetheless, they cannot create talent nor regulate what is the most important: the courage of accepting a challenge, the devotion of combat, and the fairness of victory.
There is a global crisis in the world: the economy is in crisis, but there is also a crisis in our minds and our way of thinking. Crises tend to make our bodies and characters lazier. For the moment, every solution seems attractive, any ray of hope can lure us.
However, in order to find and recognize the right answers, one needs more than caution, concern and fear. The right answers require character, enough force to fight, and faith in ourselves and in what we have taken on. One also needs the rigour of games and the hope of victory merited by work.
The crisis, the moment open for change according to our decision, is present in the everyday life of a sportsman as well: fight again and again against something that seemed so easy yesterday, wrestle with the hopeless and unpromising, and trust – trust in our own strength, in that of our fellow sportsmen and in time that has led us that far.
The crisis may find a good counsellor in sport and fair play. They can show a way out by their own examples, by the decisions that help preserve and encourage fair play. They help preserve the values whose disappearance we must prevent with all our strength in this critical period.
"If a sportsman admits honestly to having taken drugs, can he get a fair play award?", I was asked not so long ago by my nephew going to lower elementary. The question puzzled me, for the morality of an era was wondering about true morals.
There is no such thing as "somewhat fair play" or "fairly honest sport" in the same way as mediocre victory does not exist, either. In sport, quality is not simply a circumstance, and character is not just a supplement, but they are rather conditions for a noble game, which is the only genuine one: a noble fight with the elements, challenges and adversaries.
Of course, this is not what I replied to my nephew, but that there is no subsequent honesty in sport. It can exist only there and then, at a given moment.
If sport gives the right answers to the youth and those terrified by the crisis, it may provide the answers regarding the future as well.
It is also about the Olympic Games where playing together builds and reinforces cultures, nations and character.
Finally, may I evoke the words pronounced by Jacques Rogge at the opening ceremony of the Athens Games: "The champion of champions is the person who resisted all temptation and prepared and fought honestly for the champion's title in the spirit of fair play."