Sports is the Medicine of tomorrow
Blessing to Japan
The people of Japan are awakening to daylight for the first time after the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake last night. “Sports is the Medicine of Tomorrow” is a quote from Friday at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona that gives us all hope that it rings true for Japan. More than a thousand Japanese are dead and the Northeast part of the country lays devastated by a terrifying tsunami that will define a generation in terms of its destruction but also in its recovery.
How does that #GSFB quote tie into Japan? By remembering that quote came from Barcelona from here on forward, we can believe in hope for the future of Japan with sports as the Medicine. Carry this quote with you and read more GSFB quotes and stories at http://www.globalsportsforum.org.
Sports can help by being the Medicine that reverses worldwide obesity. Sports teach humans to compete fairly. Sports support the lesson that you are only as good as your worst player. Sports helps you learn that winning is not the only thing as the New York Yankees owner or Charlie Sheen spout, rather, it really is how you play the game like Coach John Wooden would tell us today if he was still alive.
It was ten years ago that 9/11 happening in New York which ironically was my generations Pearl Harbor. I was living in Atlanta working for Dartfish, a top Swiss sports technology company, when this disaster occurred. This tragedy polarized our American citizens to come together. How did the USA respond to this cowardly terrorist act? We played a long-standing traditional World Series. While our entire Nation still grieved, sports allowed for healing to occur by taking our minds away from the hurt for just enough time to let goodness back into our hearts. In hindsight, playing that World Series proved to be the right move because it allowed Americans to help put this disaster behind and move forward with healing, determination and the reconstruction of the human spirit. Yes, “Sports is the Medicine of tomorrow.”
“Athletes are influencers” is another important quote that came out to today’s GSFB sessions and discussions. Sports organizations, players and fans know how to dig in and play through the tough times. This is an ultimate tough time for Japan to play through. The entire world is now rallying around Japan. We need influencers to step up who can make a real difference and I suspect that Athletes have a major role to play in this regard as time goes on.
Social Media is a major reason for Athletes incredible influence today like never before in our world’s history. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook truly make the world smaller and closer while allowing for fans to interact with players on an intimate level.
Michel Masquelier said there are, “So many new outlets and new technologies that allow for exposure of more sports than ever before.” Jonah Lomu shared that, “By having social media, I am able to connect to people that come from where I come from, without actually knowing me.” Federico Addiechi said, “We identify local needs through local people and support them.”
These are appropriate quotes when you think about how Japan will recover fastest. We need to empower local Japanese Athletes who understand the needs of their people best. My favorite Seattle Mariner MLB baseball player and Japanese icon Ichiro can be exactly this kind of shining light for the Japanese people via Social Media.
My personal favorite quote comes from coach Jimmy Valvano said at the ESPN ESPY awards show as he suffered from fatal cancer, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” The Japanese and the world need to believe in his magical quote and it will come true.
Didier Drogba talked at the GSFB about his foundation, education and sport for the future of African children on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He05pfdWAqw. Rai said, “Globalization helps. If a company wants to invest in Brazil, a developing country, then it’s important to help the country grow.” The world is going to need to apply these philosophies to Japan’s recovery and help them make a come back like your favorite sports team tries to do after suffering through a losing season or decade.
Twitter broke records for the amount of tweets that touched on this Japanese earthquake. The top hashtags as I write this include: tsunami, Text Cross, Nagano, prayforjapan, japon, Fuskushima, and not surprising when you think about it, Hurricane Katrina. It gives me chills to type each one of these words because I feel the terrible loss but at the same time, I also feel the outpouring of love. C’est la vi.
Christian Hernandez, a Salvadorean techie leading Facebook’s international partnerships from London stated that, “Thanks to Facebook, passion become social.” Indeed, this is true. Facebook will prove its worth to society by allowing people’s passion to help Japan become a worldwide and immediate social priority.
Future Sports Trends
In the final session, Lucien Boyer, General Commissioner of the GSFB and Alan Abrahamson, the Master of Ceremonies, speculated about trends that will impact sports over the next 10-15 years.
1. More Entertainment 2. More Innovation 3. More Marketing 4. More Values 5. More Power
Ask yourselves this: With Social Media, sports and technology, how can these five trends be applied right now rather than in a decade in order to help Japan?
From No. 5 ‘More Power’ came, “Sports is the Medicine of tomorrow.” I find this idea to be the key trend.
I think the Japanese will need to find ‘More Power” by getting their Sumo wresting scandal behind them in order to help the country heal. Their proud culture was dealt a devastating blow when the noble sport of Sumo was proven to be corrupt with fixed matches. By correcting sumo wrestling, “Sports becomes the Medicine of tomorrow” for the Japanese who can then find pride in their tradition like we did with the World Series.
No question FIFA gets their own huge #fail for not understanding that “Sports is the Medicine of tomorrow.” By not using technology to get calls right, the human spirit can be crushed. A beloved team England sacrificed and trained for four years together yet struggled throughout the South Africa World Cup 2010. Yet, it finally all came together for the Brits against the tough German soccer squad by scoring a goal to regain the “Big Mo” only to have it cruelly taken away because goal-line technology was not proactively implemented by FIFA to assist the refs in simply getting the wrong call right. Using goal-line tech was a no-brainer and pride worked in reverse here for FIFA. Change is inevitable. Soccer games can be a 1-0 score, not 20-14, or 100-99. As a result, millions of fans had their hearts and souls negatively affected by this preventable mistake.
Happy that FIFA does see the light though in regards to 3D technology. The blog picture of Eurosport 3D tennis reminds me of a future that is bright and has never been seen before which is exciting for a Sports Techie.
Lessons with Sport Tech
The best lesson to learn is that yes, sports is indeed a real Medicine of tomorrow. With tech, we can improve athletic performance, have more targeted business advertisers, and, immediately offer relief to those Japanese that need it yesterday. Sports can help heal nations. Say a prayer for Japan.
Thanks to the GSFB for allowing me to blog from Seattle. I look forward to next year’s event. I’ll see ya when I see ya, Sports Techie.