What the World Cup and Wimbledon Finals, Barack Obama’s Visit to South Africa and Mandela’s Centenary Have Taught Me.
Middle of July is packed with world class sporting and political events. Russia hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, South African Kevin Anderson qualified in the Wimbledon 2018 Men’s Single Final (last time South Africa came this far was 97 years ago, Brian Norton in 1921), and former US president Barak Obama will deliver the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, marking the Centenary of Madiba’s birth.
For me, in the FIFA World Cup 2018 the ball really began to roll in the Quarter-finals, with Belgium winning against Brazil 2-1 and Croatia winning on penalties 4-3 against Russia. Then, surprisingly or not, England lost 2-1 against Croatia in the semi-finals.
England’s lost against Croatia taught me that:
Even if you loose, you still achieved so much more simply by participating.
“‘It doesn’t matter that England lost. They came fourth out of all the countries in the world’#ENGCRO“:
My seven-year-old son just said:
‘It doesn’t matter that England lost. They came fourth out of all the countries in the world’#ENGCRO
— Stuart Henderson (@HendersStu) July 11, 2018
And that the journey is more important that the destination:
👏 Just a reminder that England lasted longer than…
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) July 12, 2018
I was touched by the thank you’s pouring from both sides (fans and team) as a result of The Three Lions’s journey through the Fifa World Cup.
Always remember to thank your supporters, no matter of their numbers or where they might be.
Don’t be afraid to dream.
“To everyone who supported us. To everyone who believed this time was different. To everyone who wasn’t afraid to dream. To everyone who knows this is only the beginning. Thank you. We hope we made you proud.”:
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) July 12, 2018
Watched by 26.5 million ✅
Most-watched broadcast on British TV since the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony ✅
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 12, 2018
It was touching to hear the English fans singing Oasis as they left the World Cup. That’s the spirit, England!
Pain is easier to endure if shared:
— Radio X (@RadioX) July 11, 2018
Lessons learned form the Croatian National Soccer Team and their supporters:
To me, the Croatian National Soccer Team was the underdog of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Their dribbling techniques, sportsmanship, FAIR PLAY and team spirit are equal to none.
Plus they have these amazing supporters.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) July 13, 2018
At the end 2018 Fifa Final, when Croatia lost 4-2 against France, the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović stood in the rain, without any umbrella, to congratulate, hug and wipe the tears of the Croatian soccer players, showing her support, admiration and appreciation towards their outstanding game.
One heart. One soul. One Croatia 🇭🇷! pic.twitter.com/68OsYQaifN
— Zlatko Dalić (@DalicZlatko) July 11, 2018
Just stay there and take some time to respect and appreciate this lady, Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
— Victor Mochere (@VictorMochere) July 15, 2018
No matter what you do, you will draw strength from your support team. Make sure you have one.
Because at the end of the day…
it matters what you feel in your heart:
— Sasja Beslik (@SasjaBeslik) July 15, 2018
From Wimbledon’s Men’s Single Final there was a lot to learn on fair play, on being humble and on how to graciously accept defeat. The words of South African tennis player Kevin Anderson express all this:
Congratulations @DjokerNole. You are a true champion of our sport and it was an honour to share Centre Court with you. Thank you to everyone who makes @Wimbledon possible and perfect – see you next year! pic.twitter.com/46ObHMfOa3
— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) July 15, 2018
Kevin Anderson also teaches us a great lesson on
giving back and remembering one’s roots:
“It means so much for me to have played in the @Wimbledon final. There are so many positives and great memories I will be taking with me. Thanks to everyone from South Africa and around the world for your support and messages”:
It means so much for me to have played in the @Wimbledon final. There are so many positives and great memories I will be taking with me. Thanks to everyone from South Africa and around the world for your support and messages. It has been an incredibly special fortnight. pic.twitter.com/WxKGvl6bho
— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) July 15, 2018
and on endurance and perseverance:
23 hours and 20 minutes spent on court. Memories to last a lifetime.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 15, 2018
On Barack Obama’s visit to South Africa, to deliver the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture – celebrating the centenary of Madiba’s birth.
“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up” (Nelson Mandela)
There is a lot to be said about the Nelson Mandela’s legacy, teaching us that change for the better is always possible, never give up hope.
“Even when the odds are long and the times are dark, change is always possible. But only if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it.” @MichelleObama’s message to #ObamaLeaders gathered in South Africa this week:
“Even when the odds are long and the times are dark, change is always possible. But only if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it.” @MichelleObama’s message to #ObamaLeaders gathered in South Africa this week: https://t.co/unWccA9HKE pic.twitter.com/7XWLFRLQol
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) July 14, 2018
Certainly history in the making: pay attention and remember.
LIVE STREAM 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture by Barack Obama, 17 July 2018:
— SABC News Online (@SABCNewsOnline) July 11, 2018
Former US president Barack Obama will deliver the Mandela lecture in Johannesburg on Tuesday, the 17th of July, with 15 000 people expected to attend.
“It’s not about who we like but what we are trying to address in a particular moment and the audience that we are talking to.”(The Mandela Foundation’s chief executive, Sello Hatang)
Barack Obama will inaugurate his most significant international project as an ex-president, with an announcement on Monday that the Obama Foundation plans to convene 200 young people this July in Johannesburg for five days of meetings, workshops and technical training. (The New York Times) Also, Obama’s visit to South Africa:
“It gives him an opportunity to lift up a message of tolerance, inclusivity and democracy at a time when there are obviously challenges to Mandela’s legacy around the world,” (Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former speechwriter for Obama who still advises him.)
“There’s an enhanced sense of tribalism in the world,” he said. “Our unifying theory is that the best way to promote inclusive and democratic societies is by empowering young people in civil society.”
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”(Barack Obama)
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
What a lesson on tolerance.
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