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Briefing

The Olympics is a learning opportunity. BIGLOP isn’t about educating young people about the Olympics – it’s about what young people can learn from them.

Why think about the Olympics at school?

The Olympics are the biggest spectacle in the world with a global audience of 4.7 billion people. Nothing like it in London will happen again. Something so big is more than just a sporting festival – it’s a moment for the world to reflect on itself.

The modern Olympics were originally a youth-education project, started by a French educationalist – Baron Pierre de Coubertin. His aspiration to mould confident, modern citizens through the union of sport, education and culture is still relevant today.

The London Olympics intend to improve the lives of young people. Being entertained as spectators is a part of that, but the Olympics need to do more for young people by giving them more ways to explore where they live, what they can do and what they know.

Ways you could explore the Olympics at school.

Dreams, hopes and aspirations. Watching athletes is heart-lifting – it’s hard not to be amazed by them. There is an opportunity to explore the magic of achievement in the Olympics and how that relates to young people’s own dreams and hopes for the future.

Stories of the city. The need to present London to the world during the Olympics reminds us of the many different stories in our own city. There is an opportunity here to explore how we explain ourselves and the places we come from to others.

Connections to the world. During the Olympics we hear of countries we have never heard of and stories of athletes who have trained without shoes in faraway places. At a time when the internet, climate change and cheap travel bring the world closer together there is an opportunity here to explore how we are connected to people of the world.

The Changing City. The Olympics is changing how a large area of east London looks. New transport connections are appearing across the city. The city feels like it is moving east. There is an opportunity here to explore how London changes and how people feel about it.

Winners and losers. The Olympics are supposed to belong to everyone – but the tickets aren’t cheap and the rich sponsors have a big say in what happens. There is an opportunity here to explore who benefits from the games and your power as a citizen.

The Blog

These sort of things get explored on the BIGLOP blog.

You can also file reports on your experience of the Olympics. Find out more about how to do this.

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