While sport in itself is an impassioned bout between rivals…sportsmanship and competition are a powerful means to build bridges, bring people together and shape peace by bonding friendships and drawing lines of respect across borders.
As nearly every nation around the globe is honing its national team for the Olympic Games in Paris next year, Newport Polo is planning the international contests that it will feature in its 33rd season during the summer of 2024.
The annual Series, from June through September will support 8 international rivalries that will include yearly recurring opponants as well as less frequent overseas challengers, one of which will be returning to be feted at the 23rd International Polo Charity Ball, and one to make its debut as the 37th nation to add its flag to the row of past contenders unfurled each week along the southern perimeter of BD Field.
To explore the history of each of the 2024 rivalries, we’ll do a deep dive each month into the archives for the background onwhich a new chapter will be added next season, to understand the depth of the matchup, from the stats and records compiled in its historic anals, to reciprocal competition on their turf, and the meaningful interactions, friendships and good will that have been forged over the decades.
Sports have the uncanny ability to bring people together as very few other things can. Part of the reason for this is that with any sport, the construct of the game is all about fair play. When people participate, they know that they’re competing against other people, and that’s what helps to bring them together. Like on the much larger Olympic stage, the Polo Series upholds the belief that it is possible to compete against opposing nations, while living peacefully together. In this world of conflict that we are living in today, these games are even more relevant than ever in the universal language of sport.
Polo Series Founder Dan Keating’s Olympic dream that ended in a backbreaking crash on a luge run while competing in Innsbrook found new hope in the Polo Series as a higher plane to not only promote the international footprint of polo by extending a bridge to as many as 80 nations with organized bodies for the sport, but also to recognize peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing humanity together, face to face across boundaries and cultures.
These goals are the fundamental principles of international sports, serving to make the world a better and more peaceful place. The current outbreak of wars are foremost on our minds, and our hope is that continued dialogue and personal exchanges can mitigate the difference between cultures and foster tolerance, understanding and good will.