Coubertin Quote for Apr, 23
The Olympic Games … are the quadrennial celebration of the human springtime, honoring the successive arrival of human generations.

In this quote we find that beautiful phrase Baron Pierre de Coubertin used again and again to define the Olympic Games:  the human springtime.  It’s a phrase full of optimism and promise because it implies the starting line of the full life ahead.  And because it refers to a point of renewal in each rising generation, it carries a note of eternity.  The Baron created the Olympic Games to serve as a permanent worldwide ritual for youth—to provide a passage through which the best athletes from each generation would strive against the record books on behalf of their countries and their cohort. 

The full passage below is drawn from ‘The Philosophic Foundation of Modern Olympism,’ which the Baron published in Le Sport Suisse in 1935.  He was making an argument here that the numbers of each four-year Olympiad would be sustained in their rightful order regardless of whether or not the Games were celebrated.  Subsequently, although the Games of the 12th and 13th Olympiad were cancelled in 1940 and 1944 due to World War II, the sequence of numbers continued unbroken, which is why, today, we’re looking forward to the Games of the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020.

“The idea of the truce is another element of Olympism. It is closely related to the notion of rhythm. The Olympic Games must be held on a strictly astronomical rhythm, because they are the quadrennial celebration of the human springtime, honoring the successive arrival of human generations. That is why we must adhere to this rhythm strictly. Today as in antiquity, an Olympiad may fail to be held if unforeseen circumstances present an insurmountable obstacle, but neither the order nor the number of the Olympiad may be changed.”