Coubertin Quote for Aug, 07
Ancient Olympia drew its holiness from the feeling of patriotic piety that imbued the place, that saturated its atmosphere and enveloped its monuments.Share
There came a point in the early years of the Olympic Movement when the idea of a modern Olympia surfaced, not only as a permanent location for future Games, but as a spiritual locus for all Olympians and a sacred place of pilgrimage for the sporting world. The IOC went so far as to mount an international competition for architectural designs in 1910. This image below is from the winning design from two Swiss architects, Eugene Monod and Alphonse Laverriere, who proposed a site on the shores of Lake Geneva. When Baron Pierre de Coubertin wrote about the requirements for the plans in the Olympic Review in 1909, he emphasized the holiness and spiritual inspiration such a destination would have to engender. The idea eventually faded away and the grand parade of new host cities has continued since. But today, we often hear renewed calls for a permanent location for the Olympic Games—a notion that would undermine the true genius of the Baron’s original idea to have the Games travel from city to city, country to country, continent to continent in order to celebrate the unique cultures of our planet and implant the universal ideology of Olympism everywhere.
“(Ancient Olympia) drew its holiness from the feeling of patriotic piety that imbued the place, that saturated its atmosphere and enveloped its monuments. Any Olympia worthy of the name and of its goals must give the same impression. A sort of seriousness, not necessarily austere, but one that allows for joy, must surround it so that, in the silence between competitions, it draws visitors as a place of pilgrimage, inspiring in them a respect for places devoted to noble memories and profound hopes.”