The World Cup: A Uniting Force To Inspire Young People and Bring Communities Together

Posted by Carmen Dowling
June 12, 2014
A Youth Plays Soccer on a Street Decorated With World Cup Murals in Mangaratiba, Brazil

Here at the U.S. Mission to Brazil, the World Cup is about more than just watching soccer matches.  Our Mission-wide sports initiative, Sports for All, has been a great opportunity to use Sports Diplomacy as a tool for community development, gender inclusion, and social equality.  No matter what cultural differences people have, sport is a uniting force that allows all people to play and cheer together.  Teamwork, good sportsmanship, and the pride of watching your team play well (win or lose!) is universal.

As Secretary Kerry said at the State Department’s FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour Ceremony, “This trophy…represents the shared hopes and dreams of billions of people around the world. And I can’t think of anything that unifies people as much, brings out the best, and shows our commonality, the common spirit of sportsmanship, the common spirit of competition, the common spirit of great athleticism.”

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry unveil the FIFA World Cup trophy during the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola preceding the FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil, which begins on June 12, 2014, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 2014. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Just this month, former U.S. National Team players Cobi Jones, who attended the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour Ceremony, and Tiffany Roberts served as Sports Envoys, visiting cities across Brazil and supporting organizations from economically challenged neighborhoods that are using sports as a way to teach kids how to reach their goals, on and off the field.  No matter the game or where it’s played, inspiring young people and making communities better is the true legacy of sports.

At the U.S. Mission, we are proud to carry on the Secretary’s message at the World Cup and join Vice President Biden, who will be traveling to Brazil to attend the June 16th match in Natal between the United States and Ghana.  We are excited to cheer on Team USA and celebrate the diversity and excellence of the “Jogo Bonito” (beautiful game).

About the Author: Carmen Dowling serves as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Recife, Brazil.

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