Coubertin Quote for Dec, 10
For one hundred to go in for physical education, fifty have to go in for sport. For fifty to go in for sport, twenty will have to specialize. For twenty to specialize, five will have to show themselves capable of astounding feats.

While the term 'role model' wasn’t used at the end of the 19thcentury, it is clear that Baron Pierre de Coubertin recognized that extraordinary athletes could provide inspiration to the masses and help promote the popularity of sport everywhere.  In this inverse pyramid, the Baron articulates the idea that many would draw inspiration from the few—and that many would try sport because a few excelled at it.  This remarkable observation is often expressed today in the idea that it takes tens of thousands of athletes at the grassroots level to produce an Olympic champion.  In Olympic circles, it is widely known that Sebastian Coe and the London 2012 bid team used this formulation to great effect at their final presentation in Singapore, helping them win the right to host the Games for the third time. This passage is from “Legends,” the last chapter of Coubertin’s Olympic Memoirs.

"For one hundred to go in for physical education, fifty have to go in for sport. For fifty to go in for sport, twenty will have to specialize. For twenty to specialize, five will have to show themselves capable of astounding feats. It is impossible to get away from this basic truth. Everything is closely bound up with everything else. Thus the athletic record stands inescapably at the very summit of the sports edifice, like the ‘eternal axiom’ referred to by the French writer Taine concerning Newton's law. You cannot hope to remove it without destroying everything else.”