In the wake of the Pyeongchang Olympics we’re still reeling from Ester Ledecka’s superwoman performance. The 22-year-old Czech is the first woman to win gold in two different sports, the skiing super G and the snowboarding parallel giant slalom, a phenomenal achievement. The Brits hit their target too, winning a total of five medals, including a surprise bronze for the ecstatic Billy Morgan in the snowboarding big air.
Arguably the world’s greatest competition, the Olympics is overarchingly unifying. Wherever you come from it’s hard not to marvel at a triple axel or quad cork 1800. When records are broken we shout and cheer for humankind and our ability to push ourselves to the limit.
The endlessly scrolling bad news ticker highlighting world events makes us hungry for reasons to feel proud. Once captured, this feeling can trickle down from country to friends and eventually to ourselves, creating a sense of empowerment.
The revolutionary film Black Panther is step forward for superhero movies. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Black Panther is a black superhero young children can be proud of. Crowd-funded initiatives have brought the film to all corners of America and the UK. In Philadelphia, NFL star Jaelen Strong rented a movie theatre to give 60 children a private, opening-night screening.
“The images that come into our house and are surrounding us every day, they are the images that are telling us whether we have permission to think about a different world or whether we’d better just like stick to the world we’ve got,” said Jude Kelly, Founder of Women of the World Festival.
Let’s demand characters that make us proud of who we are and where we come from. It’s time to say goodbye to the age of celebrity and hello to the year of the superhero.