Education, and The Olympic Creed

Was there a time when the Olympics truly did transcend strife between nations? Was there a time when the Olympics truly was free of conflict and controversy? Was there a time when the Olympics truly did represent an unparalleled global unity, a time when the world came together as one to celebrate human endurance tested, human talent revealed, human accomplishment praised?

No matter the tint of our glasses through which we choose to gaze back on history, we have today an opportunity to choose our vision for a new Olympics. An opportunity to sculpt meaning from the raw material of history-in-the-making.

We can today esteem the Olympian enactment of achievement as a parallel to the achievements of aspiring learners across the globe who are right now empowering themselves through education to better their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and the lives of their communities.

Is it any wonder that the individual considered to be the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was first and foremost an educator? His advocacy of a modern Olympics was driven by a belief that the event would promote peace across the globe, and encourage cross-cultural understanding. His expression of the Olympian ideal can stand today as an advocacy of educational inclusion just as much as it does a vision for global athletic competition:

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

To be included. To have a chance. To be given the opportunity to participate. This is what every aspiring learner desires, and deserves.

“Right now, aspiring champions from 206 different countries are gathered in Rio to pursue greatness. As the Olympic drama unfolds, aspiring learners in 224 countries are coming together in virtual Udacity classrooms to pursue their own heroic dreams.
As Olympians test themselves against history across 306 different events, Udacity students are building futures through 147 different courses and programs.”

In emails to our students yesterday, and in a blog post on our site, we posed a question, and we pose it here today on Medium as well:

Where will YOUR journey to greatness begin?
Will it be right here, right now, with THIS opportunity?
Celebrate the 2016 Olympics with this Gold Medal discount: 16% off your entire Nanodegree tuition!*

If, as Baron Pierre de Coubertin said, the most important thing is to take part, then please consider this in invitation to participate! And let us all celebrate a world of achievement!

*Simply use the link above, and the discount will be applied at checkout. And don’t delay, this special offer is only available through August 21st!

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This post was written by Christopher Watkins, Senior Writer, Udacity

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