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Spirit of the games

Sport is one of our greatest means of expression, offering its participants and spectators a means to escape reality, proclaim their identity and demonstrate great feats of strength, endurance and skill. At its best, it allows people the world over to compete equally and honestly no matter their background, show solidarity, teamwork and friendship, and express ethnicity, spirit and faith.

Gary Calton's 'Spirit of the games' project encompasses five events that reflect the multifaceted nature of sport. The Omak Suicide Race, a rite of passage for young Native American men in Washington state, sees horses and their riders plunge 210 feet down 'suicide hill' into the Okanogan river below. In Tokyo, 60,000 boys wrestle for a place in the Wanpaku ('naughty child') sumo final. The Boys to Men project in south London uses boxing to give youths a sense of responsibility and self-respect. In southern Sudan, children who bear the physical and mental scars of conflict come together in their own version of the Olympic Games. Finally, in the chilly waters between England and France, one woman's passion and determination has seen her crowned the 'Queen of the Channel', swimming the 19 mile crossing a world record 43 times.
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