Today marks the beginning of the 2012 Olympics in London, so we thought it would be the perfect time to ask our students their opinion about sporting occasions. We asked our CISL SD and SF students the following question, which is based on a question from a previous IELTS examination:

Popular events like soccer’s World Cup and other international sporting occasions like the Olympics are essential in easing international tensions and releasing patriotic emotions in a safe way. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

As always, we received numerous impressive responses from our students. The winner from CISL San Francisco, Level 8 student Toshiharu Sako, wrote a wonderful essay arguing in favor of the prompt. Enjoy Toshiharu’s response below. Congratulations!

The utility of the worldwide events

Toshiharu Sako

Level 8


I strongly agree with the idea that international sports festivals like the World Cup and the Olympics are very important for relaxation of international tensions and liberating patriotic emotions without any danger.

Such festivals are very equal and peaceful, and it is impossible for us to keep the balance of the world without them. Here are three main reasons which support my opinion: 1) no relation to national wealth, 2) no blood during the festivals, and 3) no inequality among people.

First, every country competes on the equal conditions even if some are rich and others are not. In the case of soccer, all teams consist of 11 players regardless of the nation’s economic power. Were one rich country to be approved to use additional players, it would become another match. All things in the world should not be measured by economic strength.

Second, the game ends up without anyone wounded by the guns or weapons and sometimes makes foes friends. Of course some players may have unintentional injuries, but it does not matter compared to the damages of real war. Through the match, one country gets to recognize the other as a rival, not an enemy, so it leads to the reduction of the international conflicts. For example, we can see a good advantage of the World Cup which Japan andKoreajointly held in 2002. During this period,KoreacheeredJapanand vice versa, even if these countries were quarreling about the territorial dispute. Moreover, in the Japan-North Korea match in the World Cup 2006, I thoughtSouth KoreacheeredJapandue to the last cooperation, but it was not true. ActuallySouth KoreacheeredNorth Korea. It might disappoint some Japanese including me, but my classmates in C.I.S.L taught me some South Korean people cheeredJapan. Regardless of the existence of political matter about reunification ofKoreanPeninsula, it was so precious to bothKorea. So, that was whySouth KoreacheeredNorth Koreainstead ofJapan, even though we are political allies.

Finally, there are no differences or inequalities between any nationalities. All people who make a serious effort may become stars of their country, so we are familiar with such sports and enthusiastic about them, and we can support our own country’s players for the sake of the same goal. Therefore it makes our national identities much stronger.

Thus, international sports festivals can become an alternative means of real wars and loosen the tensions among nations, and at the same time they solidify our relationship as one union and stir up our patriotism. This is why such festivals are absolutely necessary for our lives.