- Shinnyo – What Exactly is It?
- Opening Address by International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach
Shinnyo [Japanese, lit. truth] refers to the nature of reality, and striving to orient oneself around it allows one to see things for what they really are, in a way that is awakening and liberating. The Buddhist practices promoting enhanced wisdom, lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, empower this way of living. This universal concept of equality is not unique to Buddhism, but is everywhere, including this week’s Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
IOC President, Thomas Bach, February 7, 2014:
[2 greetings in Russian, welcoming all to Russia and Sochi] Good evening dear athletes, Mister President of the Russian Federation, Mister Secretary General of the United Nations, dear Olympic friends and fans around the world, welcome to the 22nd Olympic Winter Games. Tonight we are writing a new page in Olympic history. [French version inserted]
Thank you to all the workers for your great contributions under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thank you to all the people of Sochi and the Krasnodar region. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your understanding during these years of transformation. Now you are living in an Olympic region. I am sure you will enjoy the benefits for many, many years to come. Thousands of volunteers have welcomed us with the well-known warm Russian hospitality. Many thanks to all the volunteers. Bolshoi spasiba, valantyoram! Thank you very much to everyone. Russia and the Russians have set the stage for you, the best winter athletes on our planet.
From this moment on you are not only the best <athletes>, you are Olympic Athletes. You will inspire us with your outstanding sports performances. You have come here for sport. You have come here with your Olympic dream. The International Olympic Committee wants your Olympic Dream to come true. This is why we are investing almost all of our revenues in the world-wide development of sports. The universal Olympic rules apply to each and every athlete — no matter where you come from or what your background is. You are living together in the Olympic Village. You will celebrate victory with dignity and accept defeat with dignity. You are bringing the Olympic Values to life. In this way, the Olympic Games, wherever they take place, set an example for a peaceful society. Olympic sports unites the people. This is the Olympic message the athletes spread to the host country and to the whole world. Yes, it is possible to strive even for the greatest victory with respect for the dignity of your competitors. Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason. Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to listen, to understand and to give an example for a peaceful society. Olympic games are always about building bridges to bring people together. Olympic games are never about erecting walls to keep people apart. Olympic games are a sports festival embracing human diversity in great unity.
Therefore, I say, to the political leaders of the world, thank you for supporting your athletes. They are the best ambassadors of your country. Please respect their Olympic message of goodwill, of tolerance, of excellence and of peace. Have the courage to address your disagreements in a peaceful, direct political dialogue, and not on the backs of these athletes. To all sports officials and sports fans, I say, join and support our fight for fair play — the athletes deserve it. And to you, my fellow Olympic athletes, I say, respect the rules, play fair, be clean. Respect your fellow athletes in and out of competition. We all wish you joy in your Olympic effort and a wonderful Olympic experience. To all of you, athletes, officials, spectators and fans around our globe, I say, “Enjoy the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, 2014!”
And now, I have the honor of inviting the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin, to declare open, the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, Sochi, Russia.
My thanks go to BBCOne for providing an unedited and unexpurgated version of Mr. Bach’s address and exceptional unbiased coverage of the Opening Ceremonies. With over six billion people in this world, there are (at least) six billion pathways to peace. Mr. Bach has presented one. What’s yours?