Coubertin Quote for Aug, 18
'The gods are the friends of the Games’ said Pindar, using that term in its most athletic sense.

The historical record indicates that the Ancient Olympic Games began in 776 B.C., but they were probably contested long before that date. In Greek mythology, it was Hercules who founded the Olympics centuries earlier when he challenged his four brothers to a footrace to entertain the gods of Mount Olympus.  In a long and wide-ranging speech he delivered on March 6, 1929 in Paris, Baron Pierre de Coubertin suggested that athleticism, if not the Olympics, extended much further back in Hellas.  He noted that in Homer’s Iliad, which is traditionally dated from the tenth century B.C., religious athleticism was already an established Greek tradition. 

“’The gods are the friends of the Games’ said Pindar, using that term in its most athletic sense. What is more, all this dates back a long way because the society described in the Iliad already appears highly athletic and religiously athletic. It was to honor the gods with their trained and well-balanced bodies that, for centuries on end, young Hellenes were urged to chisel their bodies through intense muscular exercise.”