The Words of the Hyun Jin Moon

IPSF Closing Ceremony

Hyun Jin Moon
July 10, 2007

Excerpted from Hyun-jin nim's speech at Sun Moon University on July 10 to participants of the Inter-religious Peace Sports Festival

It is a distinct honor and pleasure as the chairman of WCSF to have welcomed you here to Korea. I hope you fought well, not in the name of war but in the name of peace, because those who play together live together in peace. This is what this is all about. The Inter-religious Peace Sports Festival is about building a sandbox, where human beings can strip down to the bare essence and become children again.

I believe it was said once that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven you need to be like a child. This is because a child does not know war, does not know conflict, does not know religious, racial, national or ethnic divisions, or whatever other divisions and barriers humanity has erected as we "grew up." The spirit of this sports festival is to rekindle the child within you before you put up those walls, so that we can bring the walls that divide humanity crumbling down...

Many years ago, I, too, was an avid sportsman. I competed in the 1988 Olympic Games here in Seoul and in Barcelona in 1992 as a member of the Korean equestrian team. I remember the sacrifices – personally -- that I had to make to be able to achieve those high goals. For the few minutes that I spent on that course, I'd had to prepare for a lifetime. So I know the amount of dedication that all of you have toward perfecting your skill so that you could be the sportsmen you are. However, true sportsmanship is not physical ability but understanding the spiritual component. I remember my coaches used to always tell me, "A champion is 30 percent physical excellence, 70 percent internal excellence." In other words, your game face has to be on; your mind has to be on; your spirit has to be on, if you want to be a true champion. I hope you learn the meaning of being true champions in this festival as you participate here in Seoul...

I want to commend all of you for your dedication and your hard work and your participation in these events. We hope that you can be ambassadors for this festival when you go back home to your respective countries, so that you can bring the message of peace and the culture of living for the sake of others that you've experienced in this festival to your homes, your neighborhoods, your communities and your nations, so that we can truly build one family under God. 

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