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Higher and stronger propelled by faster

By Piao Xuedong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-01-18 11:17

The Olympic flame for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games on display in Beijing's Olympic Tower on Oct 20, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

When I first saw "Faster, Higher, Stronger", I didn't know that its canonical name was the "Olympic Motto", and sometimes I would see the foreign words "Citius, Altius, Fortius", which I couldn’t pronounce properly.

I learned later that these foreign words were Latin.

After paying attention to this motto, I found that there are two ways to read it: "Faster, Higher, Stronger" and "Higher, Faster, Stronger". Which one is right? I consulted an expert who told me that "Faster" comes first. Since the motto was approved by the International Olympic Committee in 1913 and written into the Olympic Charter, it has always been "Faster" first.

"Faster, Higher and Stronger" are all important, and sometimes "Faster" is more important than "Higher and Stronger". No matter how high or strong, if you are not fast enough, it will be difficult to remain invincible.

A friend once argued: In a shooting competition, being fast is not the most important thing, but being accurate. I told him that most shooting competitions require athletes to shoot within the prescribed time limit. If you are not fast, you must be more accurate than anyone else. Time waits for no one, and the rules do not allow delaying the shooting time limit in order to be more accurate.

In the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, Xu Haifeng won the championship with 566 rings in Men's Free Pistol 60 Shots, winning the first gold medal for China in the history of the Olympics. This "60 Shots" requires qualifiers to shoot 60 bullets within 120 minutes. In the finals, each participant will shoot 10 bullets, each with a prescribed time of 75 seconds. Please notice that one bullet must be shot in an average of 2 minutes in the qualifications and in 75 seconds in the finals. Being fast is a must. Without a baseline of fast shooting, there will be no good results in "60 Shots". This is like a "quick game" when playing Go. When the atmosphere becomes tense during the countdown, only players with sufficient knowledge and experience will avoid mistakes.

In fact, besides sports competitions, in other fields, "Faster" also makes sense. On the premise of maintaining quality and quantity, whoever is faster wins, so there exists the idiom of "he who strikes first gains the advantage", the analogy of "fast fish eat slow fish", and the saying, "one can make a living everywhere with a certain specialty". "Certain specialty" not only refers to unique creativity, but also means to prioritize good ideas and launch them quickly.

"Fast" and "Slow" are not commendatory or derogatory, but in addition to "Slow," the antonyms of "Fast" also include stagnate, impede and dull. None of them are commendable words.

"Fast" is the "Fast" of the whole process: to think fast, to make decisions fast, and to execute fast. At the same time, it should not be rough, omissive, imperfect, and incomplete as a result of being fast.

Let us comprehend the philosophy of "Faster" together, and keep in mind this order: "Faster, Higher, Stronger".

Recently, the International Olympic Committee updated the Olympic Motto, adding "Together", which is translated as "more united" in Chinese, which does not affect the logic of "Faster" ranking first.

The author is the Director General of the Marketing Development Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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