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Jason Collins changes the world through sport

Jason Collins changes the world through sport
Ben Stevenson

By Ben Stevenson

Excellence. Friendship. Respect. These are the official values of the Olympic movement. And every two years, when the best athletes and coaches in the world gather to compete in peace, we are reminded of the immeasurable importance these values have in every-day life.

On Monday, however, 34-year-old Jason Collins, did more than just remind us. He changed sports forever.

By announcing he was gay in an environment infamous for looking the other way, the National Basketball League veteran made a change to the sporting community that will forever affect the way people think.

He told Sports Illustrated: “The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in.”

Jason Collins. CP PHOTO/Aaron Harris

In acting on his words, Mr. Collins has displayed the kind of courage the Olympic movement is firmly based upon.

Sport unites us all.

Sure, there will be debate. But when it’s all said and done, a new world of potential has opened up in the sporting community and otherwise because of the courage Collins has displayed.

Athletes and coaches at every level, in every country, practice and compete together to get better at what they do … to find excellence.

We become better people, better athletes, better parents and better coaches – because of sport.

Thanks to Jason Collins, we now live in a better world – because of sport.

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Ben Stevenson

By Ben Stevenson

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History will be made in 2016 when Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosts the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, marking the first time that a South American country will welcome the world to an Olympic Games. It is also just the third time that the Games will be held in the southern hemisphere, following Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000.

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