Coubertin Quote for Dec, 18
The honor of engaging in the struggle and the hope of being crowned victor in (the Olympic Games) … is equal to any attraction that your ingeniousness could devise.Share
In Athens, Greece, in November of 1894, the first edition of the Olympic Games—set for two years later in the Greek capital—were in deep trouble. Prime Minister Tricoupis and his government had declined the honor of hosting the Olympic Games. Baron Pierre de Coubertin dropped everything, including his wedding preparations, and traveled from Paris to Athens to try to save the Games he revived only five months before. He examined the venues, developed a reasonable budget, entreated the royal family to take the reins, met with the prime minister, gave speeches and launched a PR campaign aimed to rally the public. By the time he left, hope had been restored and Crown Prince Constantine was forming a new organizing committee. This quote, which expresses the Baron’s confidence that the athletes of the world would respond to the honor of competing in the first modern Olympic Games, is from the text of a speech, “The Neo-Olympism: Appeal to the People of Athens,” that appeared in Le Messager d’Athènes that month.
“The honor of engaging in the struggle and the hope of being crowned victor at Athens, at the foot of the Acropolis, the joy of seeing this pure atmosphere, of seeing these horizons that nature and history have made doubly majestic, of visiting these plains and valleys from which science has managed to draw out secrets by unearthing buried cities, all this, believe me, is equal to any attraction that your ingeniousness could devise. The great celebration is to come to Athens.”