Dilemmas, Choices and Heroism

Israeli Delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympic Games - Opening Ceremonies

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Educational Outline



Moral & Ethical Dilemmas/ Character Development

Remembering 11 Forgotten Heroes




Olympic Choices


Time Frame:

 60 minutes


Target Audience:

 Ninth grade through Adults in their nineties


Average Audience Size:




1)     Acoustically sound room or seating in movable chairs or seated around tables of 8-12 or on floor.

2)     Setup should be appropriate for ages of participants and goals of the group.

3)    Speaker does not use microphone for monologue but one is needed for audience participation for remainder 

of program.

4)     Laptop, video projector and screen are needed in order to show video clip.  Wi-Fi or internet connection

preferable but can show clip from digital file.


Program layout: participation         


Part #1 – Monologue of the story “They’re All Gone”

Approx 22 minutes

The promise made by an eight year old and the journey he took to keep it

Audience moves into breakout groups

Approx 3 minutes


Part #2 – Breakout Session #1

 Approx 15 minutes

Moral & Ethical Dilemmas through the Prism of Sport

Generally time permits us to implement three topics in this section.


The following are examples of dilemmas we have used to trigger conversation:


Adults and Corporate Settings:

a)  “Stolen Knowledge” - Intellectual Property, Proprietary Knowledge and Time

b) Disparaging a Competitor’s Product

c) Eligibility for Public Assistance

d) Profit Regulation

e) Labor Productivity

f) Market Speculation

g) Control of Price and Product

h) Competition in Business

i) Environmental Issues

j) Living Beyond Our Means

Students and Young Adults:

Common Topics (public forums) 

a) Sportsmanship

b Racism

c) PEDs

d) Boycotts

e) Role Model

f) Injury and Risk to Health

g) Are College Sports the Right Message 

h) Is Winning the Message

i) Your Coach


Common Topics (faith based forums)    

In Addition to the above listed topics…..

a) Balance vs. Purpose

b) The Sabbath

c) Modesty

d) Gratitude


Order of discussion:

Upon completion of part #1 the monologue it should take 2-3 minutes to separate the audience into 6-8 smaller groups of 10-15 each in order to best encourage group participation. The desired dynamic will create enough voices so conflict can arise but not too many voices where noise will overwhelm participation.

Prior to the start of the program I will have worked with the group organizers to ascertain the goals or core values of the audience members and then adjust the dilemmas to make the best and most appropriate fit  for the audience.  Ideally the break out groups are predetermined if not I will have communicated with the group organizers the best options. 

Each dilemma has a front story and a back story.  For example a common topic is Sportsmanship:  I stand in front of the audience and will say the following “The definition of a dilemma means there is no right answer.  Duing this portion I will present several dilemmas for group discussion which will then be shared with everyone.

Example: The 1st dilemma being on Sportsmanship. (The front story) -  Imagine you are a world class tennis player and are competing in one of the top tennis championships in the world.  You are in the final and the match is in the final set and is tied up in the final games. Your opponent hits a shot and it is called out.  You win the game and will serve for the match and championship.  The ball that was just called out you actually saw hit the line. What do you do?”

I allow for 2-4 minutes of discussion depending on how engaged the participants are in their groups. I keep a sharp eye on body language and any feedback by the organizers that are participating in the break out groups. I then call for one volunteer from each group to come forward and share what the overwhelming opinions were from their respective break out groups.  Comments should be limited to approx 20-30 seconds each.  When the last volunteer has spoken I share (the back story) the real life scenario in this instance happened in the 1982 French Open semi-Finals where Mats Vilander overruled a call giving him match point and insisted on replaying the point. I ask the audience to raise their hands if they are eighteen years old.  I ask the audience if they at 18 would have the character in that situation with fame, money and prestige on the line to overrule a call that gave you the match.

That completes dilemma number one and I continue with numbers two and three in the same format.

Note:  I adjust the dilemmas to meet the audience.  Audiences at public high schools are different than faith based adult audiences.  Student audiences differ than adult ones and so on. The goal is to create the relevant conversations, to stimulate, not to deliver the right answer. 

Expose not impose.


Part #3 – Breakout Session #2

Approx 12 minutes

In the same format as session #1 I ask another three questions:

What is a hero?

Who is a hero?

Who is your hero?

Time permitting I will take a full complement of group answers, if we are limited by time I will open the floor to 6-9 total from any group that will share the answers to each question.

We all need role models. Acknowledging and even publically honoring those who inspire us is a valuable educational tool and a healthy function in our role as productive members of society.


Part #4 – Video from HBO Sport in America: Our Defining Heroes

Approx 3 minutes


Part #5 – Summation

Approx 5 minutes

I thank the audience for their participation and open the floor for any questions or comments.  I then share the challenges of the program and the journey.  I encourage everyone to watch the HBO documentary; it is a truly beautiful and inspiring film.

I finish by telling the audience that I have shared who my heroes are and if they could please help me by honoring eleven of them as I raise eleven placards aloft one by one, each with a name of the men who was killed in at the Munich Games.  The audience joins me as each name is recited out loud.  Something spoken is not forgotten.  I always end with David Berger, I ask the audience if anyone knows where he was from “Cleveland” is the answer, born and raised in the USA.