Coubertin Quote for Aug, 21
The athlete enjoys his effort. He likes the constraint that he imposes on his muscles and nerves, through which he comes close to victory even if he does not manage to achieve it.Share
One of the dominant themes in Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s interpretation of modern sport and athletic competition is the “joy of effort.” The idea that pleasure and joy would emerge from serious physical activity was purely theoretical in Coubertin’s day, but it was based on mountains of anecdotal evidence that suggested the body had an internal chemical mechanism that rewarded strenuous exercise. In 1974, two groups of scientists discovered that the body, indeed, produced “endorphins,” a form of opioid that inhibited signals of pain and fostered feelings of euphoria not unlike those of morphine. While the baron was referring to the joy of effort in even broader terms, there’s no doubt he and many other amateur athletes in his movement had experienced the full joy of effort the body delivers. This quote is from a speech the baron gave in Lausanne in 1919 in celebration of 25th Anniversary of the decision to revive the Olympic Games. For more references to joy in the baron’s writings, see the quote for May 22, in which we list eight references.
“The athlete enjoys his effort. He likes the constraint that he imposes on his muscles and nerves, through which he comes close to victory even if he does not manage to achieve it. This enjoyment remains internal, egotistical in a way.”