Coubertin Quote for Apr, 03
Ambitions?  Nothing can be done without them.

There are those who say that ambition rules the world—and I don’t think Baron Pierre de Coubertin would disagree with them.  As a lifelong student of human psychology, the Baron recognized that without ambition nothing could be achieved.  His concern, as always, was funneling the ambitions of the individual into the most positive channels possible, particularly into self-improvement through the physical challenges of sport.  Applying the idea to the Olympic Movement, he said that its ambitions were global, which they have indeed proved to be.  The passage below is from his essay “The Philosophy of Physical Culture,” which appeared in the Olympic Review in May of 1909.

“Ambitions? Nothing can be done without them. Ambitions need not focus on the loftiest goals. Not everyone is destined to be honored as a champion. It is hardly desirable for everyone to entertain such aspirations. But … I do not hesitate to say that without ambition, nothing will be gained in physical culture …. Such ambition may be instinctive, or it may come from some external factor. It may result from heredity, personal taste, a particular predisposition, self-interested calculation or a healthy sort of envy. The origin of ambition is of secondary importance here. What counts is that it exists, and that it is translated into action.”