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‘Stronger together’ is the Olympic message one year before Tokyo Games

The International Olympic Committee looks ahead to the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021 and celebrates the unique power of the Olympic Games to inspire a world facing shared challenges.

We’re all different. We look different. We come from different places and live in different ways. But when we all go through the same struggle, when we all contend with the same fear, when we all face the same challenge, it’s undeniable how much stronger we can be together.

The Tokyo Olympics, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, open in one year. Like never before, the Games can bring the world together -- more than 10,000 athletes from more than 200 nations.

“At the end of this dark tunnel we are all going through together, not knowing how long it is, the Olympic Flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel,” IOC President Thomas Bach wrote in March.

The Games were revived in 1896 through the conception of Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin.

Another of Coubertin’s ideas made the Olympics a symbol of global unity. In 1914, the Olympic Flag design brought by Coubertin was adopted: Five interlocking rings representing the union of five continents: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.

That unity has been personified throughout Olympic history, including in images from the above video.

Most famously, the sportsmanship shown between American Jesse Owens and German Luz Long in the 1936 Olympic long jump. Most recently, American runner Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin helping each other to the finish line in the Rio Olympic 5000m heats.

“We are confident that we can unify the world in one year from now and that can we send a strong message of solidarity and of unity of humanity in all our diversity,” Bach said Thursday.

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