Coubertin Quote for Aug, 09
There are two trends in modern athletics … It is becoming democratic and international.

If you look back across the quotes that have appeared in this column over the last eight months, you’ll find a surprising number of references to the role of sport in democracy.  Baron Pierre de Coubertin, born an aristocrat but a republican by choice, believed that democracy was the best form of government—and that sport could serve to strengthen and help grow democracy worldwide.  He sought to align his sporting revolution with the political revolution toward equality that was gradually gaining momentum at the end of the 19th century.  In his open letter “Neo-Olympism: Appeal to the People of Athens,” which appeared in Le Messager d’Athènes in 1894, the Baron emphasized this point to fill his Greek readers with pride over two of their greatest legacies.

“Gentlemen, there are two trends in modern athletics to which I would like to draw your attention. It is becoming democratic and international. Its social revolution which has now been achieved among men—and which might be achieved in terms of things as well—explains the first of these characteristics; the speed of transportation and the frequency of communications explain the second.”