Olympism as philosophy and practice of healthy lifestyle


Honored Worker of Higher School of Russia, professor, Dr.Hab. V.L. Pashuta
Associate professor, Ph.D. A.S. Nikol’skaya
Military Institute of Physical Training, Saint-Petersburg


Keywords: Olympism, Olympic movement, physical training, physical development, international, supranational, healthy lifestyle, students.

Introduction. To our recognition, the primary objectives of the modern society and education system, in particular, comprise addressing the issues in studying the Olympism concept, Olympic movement and education; consideration and implementation of the Olympic principles in general, as well as the prospects of theoretical study development and practical implementation of existing experience in the context of forming the physical culture of people during physical training, resulting in the healthy living skill acquisition.

As part of the ongoing changes in our society, the tendencies for humanization and democratization of pedagogical process require a person to be considered the subject of social relations, which covers the issues of personal national identity, humankind identity, acquiring moral, universal human and national values. The current social and educational policy in the Russian Federation is oriented towards physical culture and sports development, thus, consideration of the Olympism concept and Olympic education, due to its universal integrative, international and supranational attributes, becomes increasingly relevant. Olympic education is both a social phenomenon and the integrated system contributing to the formation of physical culture and healthy lifestyle of a person, as well as the implementation of qualitative physical training (PT) of youth (students) and adult population.

The utmost importance of Olympism [5, 6] is proved by the fact that the concept of Olympism itself is quite complex and incorporates the principles of fair and unbiased competition based on social beliefs and ideology and tracing its roots back to the Olympic Games in antiquity. In the modern context, Olympism represents the philosophy of life considering the theoretical aspects of social life through Olympic traditions; the practical aspects stand for fundamental basics of the Olympic movement and everything that relates to education and healthy living in one way or another. Thereby, the phenomenon of Olympism attracts attention of prominent scientists, pedagogues, politicians and sports activists worldwide. As stated by the Olympic Charter, “Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind” [7].

The study of the Olympic-oriented data and materials leads to a significant insight about the fact that theoretical and practical aspects of Olympism represent a universal mechanism of skills acquisition and development for people of all age groups, vocations and social classes. The mental, moral and physical qualities are necessary in everyday life, for the applied vocational activities and self-development in the field of elite sports. Furthermore, despite the paradox of the following statement, Olympism and education, indeed, contribute to the personal discovery of cultural peculiarities and national moral values, provide an opportunity to understand and compass the national identity, perceive the individual cultural and historical status, and, thus, to hold the world intercultural and international peculiarities and traditions in respect. Primarily, it will contribute to the establishment of cross-cultural communication indicating erudition of a person and society development level in the system of international relations; thus, it will preclude cross-national conflicts and clashes, which take place in different countries; it will result in resolution of major political issues. Therefore, shifting from the national peculiarities and achievements to the prosperity on a worldwide scale, followed by its comparison and referring back to national attributes is the optimal way of adaptation to the world cultural environment.

Healthy living is recognized as a value on the national and worldwide scale, while wellness itself, as well as the technologies preserving and improving wellness, should be the primary objectives of policy in all countries around the world. It can be stated that healthy living, being a complex set of activities aimed at health enhancement and disease prevention, results in supporting the entire healthy lifestyle, which represent the foundation for the further achievements in all spheres of human activities. 

Consideration of the term ‘healthy lifestyle’ reveals the fact that it is used in official acts and public documents on education and wellness of the citizens of the Russian Federation, curriculum, academic courses, course books; in the philosophical, psychological, medical, valeological, pedagogical and other literature. A variety of scientific works, dedicated to the subject, should be mentioned as well (V. K. Balsevich, G. V. Ganshina, A. P. Perov, V. S. Rodichenko, etc.) [1, 2, 3, 4]. The authors note the fact that effective healthy lifestyle support is directly connected with a person’s cultural progress comprising the knowledge and skills of physical culture, maintaining physical and psychic health, moral values, self-education and self-discipline, as well as the specific features of practical activities of a person. Therefore, the process of healthy lifestyle formation should involve the system of educational and training social events aimed at establishment, development and maintenance of healthy living as a tendency for the specific behavior based on preservation and enhancement of health. Such process should be aimed at implementation of all components of healthy lifestyle, and, as a result, implementation of the students’ demand for moral development, maintenance of motor activities, nutrition and hygiene on a daily basis, breaking the pernicious habits (smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse), preference for socially significant and positive self-actualization.

The basic aspects of the Olympic education are: balanced personality development; attaining excellence through the acquisition of knowledge and high quality experience in scientific, artistic and sports fields; ethical principles of fair and unbiased competition, equal opportunities; amateur sports as a part of the international movement; the concept of free will and peace among the nations, expressed by respect and tolerant attitudes among certain people; pursuit of freedom by means of sports [8]; study and analysis of specific characteristics of the Olympics hosting by the country, total scores and results for the best performances by the national team.

It is necessary to apply the Olympism principles in the educational process with the students including: harmonious implementation of physical training and educational programs; development of personality culture of an individual; giving good practical examples of the will-to-win spirit and top achievements; provide support to the teammates and respect for the opponents; the unifying idea of sports activities (professional and amateur); effective collaboration of all the people involved in the organization and implementation of physical training; implementation of the human rights for physical development without discrimination (racial, religious, political, etc.); providing equal opportunities and accessibility of physical training for students with different initial fitness levels; ensuring conscious moral choice of the physical training participants in favor of justice (athlete, sport organization member, trainer, jury, physician, etc.).

Thus, arrangement of the physical training process and formation of healthy lifestyle based on the Olympism principles also contribute to the development of such personal qualities, as patriotism; discipline; social and personal responsibility; taking pride in the individual identity; objective evaluation of personal strengths and weaknesses; self-confidence; self-discipline; respect for colleagues and teammates; resoluteness; persistence; honesty and etc. [5, 6].

According to the findings, the formation of the healthy lifestyle, based on the Olympism principles, comprises two complementary aspects: moral and physical. The theoretical (philosophical) aspect is based on the acquisition of knowledge about international cultural and historical concepts, building the moral attitudes of a person. The practical aspect stands for acquiring the skills of healthy living, systematic activities aimed at acquiring vocational skills, practical techniques and experience in the appropriate area; developing physical qualities essential for both professional sports and in everyday life; hosting sports events; promoting sports achievements holding up prominent Olympic athletes as an example.

Conclusions. Thus, the study of the characteristic features of the modern Olympic movement and education, as well as the basic Olympic principles in the context of healthy lifestyle formation, allows to conclude that implementation of the underlined theoretical (philosophical) and practical aspects will contribute to an increase of the general cultural level; establishment of cross-cultural communication indicating education level of a person and society development level in the system of international relations, as well as health enhancement of the entire nation.


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Corresponding author: pashuta.valery.lukich@gmail.com