IOC President Praises The Idealist, a Book About Modern Olympics Founder

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach is on the record in support of a new book that dramatizes the life and times of the Frenchman who brought us the modern Olympic Games. Bach has written the preface for The Idealist by George Hirthler, a recently released historical novel on Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

“I believe those who venture into its pages will discover a new source of Olympic inspiration in the unforgettable story of the first modern Olympic dreamer,” writes Bach. “With its evocative prose, The Idealist reminds us of the debt the Olympic Movement owes to le Renovateur. It is only because of his ambition, vision and tenacious drive that the Games are still extending their reach and still uniting our world in friendship and peace through sport.”

Hirthler is a veteran insider in the Olympic Movement, having served as a leading communications strategist for 10 Olympic bid cities over the past two decades. Three of those campaigns — Atlanta 1996, Beijing 2008 and Vancouver 2010 – were successful. He opted to tell the story of Coubertin using historical fiction, which Hirthler says allowed him to dramatize events in a way that nonfiction couldn’t.

The novel begins in 1937, near the end of Coubertin’s life, when a fictional sports journalist named Jacques St. Clair moves to Lausanne with his American girlfriend, painter Juliette Franklin, to interview the Baron for a biography. Coubertin’s story is revealed in a series of flash backs as his growing relationship with the young couple is affected by his deteriorating health. The Idealist is now available in limited edition, hardback and paperback.