The world has just witnessed and supported athletes from different countries in their respective sports, bringing honor to each nation represented. The 2020 Summer Olympics (Tokyo 2020), which was delayed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, finally pushed through last July 23. Concluding on Aug. 8, the Olympics was a beautiful pause amid the health crisis the world has been experiencing since 2020.
Education and student-athletes in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
In the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, there was a mix of professionals, student-athletes, and young players contending to win their coveted medals and bring pride to their countries.
It was an Olympics season to remember, as it brought different stories from shared medals among athletes to downfalls that still put a smile on an athlete’s face—a definite breather from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Though some athletes tested positive for the coronavirus and had to be taken out of the competition, some went on and even earned a medal for their respective countries, such as Italian rower Bruno Rosetti.1
Among the athletes sent to the Olympics this year were young students who are yet to finish their academic programs. Despite the rigid training for each of their sports, these athletes are still focused on their education. Most institutions fully support athletes by having world-class sports facilities and mentoring that contribute to developing the skills each student has.2
Jade Carey of Oregon State University (OSU) in the United States, who replaced Simon Biles in the artistic gymnastics event, is one of these student-athletes.3 She has signed up for some classes in OSU in 2020 but focused most of her time preparing for her Olympic dream. She got the gold medal for the U.S. team in the individual floor exercise final.
India’s first-ever gold medalist for athletics, Neeraj Chopra, is pursuing a B.A. at Lovely Professional University.4 Canada’s Margaret MacNeil, who clinched the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter butterfly, is currently studying at the University of Michigan and is planning to pursue medicine or law in the future.5 The Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz, who set a new world record and won gold in the women’s 55kg weightlifting event, is studying Business Management at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.6
These are just a few of the many student-athletes who competed in Tokyo 2020.
Sports academic programs for international students
Sports and education play a major role in a student’s life. These two fields have different scopes but can both lead a student toward success. What’s even more astonishing is that physically active individuals perform better on examinations or tests of intellectual ability.7 The more a student does a physical workout or any sport, the more proficient the cerebral performance.
That is why balancing the passion for sports and attending academic classes brings out the best in each student. It may not apply to all students, but it can be done. MSM Unify offers a wide range of academic programs that young athletes can venture into in line with their Olympic dream. There are also programs for non-athletes who want to pursue a career in sports.
For those who are interested in the business side of sports, a degree in Sports Management is a great pathway to becoming a marketer, sales agent, athletic director, event operations specialist, or publicist in the corporate arena.8 Most graduates focus on athletic administration or sport-based youth development.
Sports Medicine is a promising program for students interested in pursuing a career in athletic training, orthopedics, and physical therapy.9 Skills and proficiency are developed, which are crucial in therapeutic procedures for different patients.
Students who want to earn a double degree can take up higher education in Sports Business and Communication. In this program, students are trained in sports communication and media, marketing, sports sponsoring and event management. The specialized program is a perfect mix of basic business knowledge and practical skills for students to excel globally in sports management.
Education brings the world closer
In general, all students must put immense value in their education, whatever the field of study is. As they say, work does not feel like work if one is enjoying one’s passion.
Student-athletes are no different because they can be whatever they hope to be outside the arena, pool, or mat. Challenges are bound to occur as schedules between their academics and sports training may be conflicting, but no challenge is too great with the right support system.
The Olympics isn’t the only thing that brings the world together. International education does this, too. As students from all over the world come together in learning and enhancing their knowledge and skills in class, the world becomes closer. Different cultures come together and brew new perspectives that will help each student improve their potential.