Coubertin Quote for Dec, 24
May joy and good-fellowship reign, and in this manner, may the Olympic Torch pursue its way through the ages, for the good of a humanity always more enthusiastic, more courageous and more pure.Share
As these words indicate, there must have been a tremendous feeling of hope in the ceremony at the close of the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, which were celebrated only 18 months after World War I ended. For Baron Pierre de Coubertin, seeing the world gathered again in the aftermath of the devastating conflict, provided an extraordinary confirmation that his dream of friendship and peace through sport was resilient enough to survive even the most catastrophic challenge. These were also the first Games over which the Olympic flag—the greatest single symbol of modern Olympism—had flown. It’s interesting to note that the Baron uses the iconic image of the Olympic Torch in these words as well—more than sixteen years before the torch relay was invented. This passage is from an article on Antwerp that the Baron wrote for the Swiss magazine, Le Concorde after the Games. It seemed like a fitting toast for this holiday season.
"May joy and good-fellowship reign, and in this manner, may the Olympic Torch pursue its way through the ages, for the good of a humanity always more enthusiastic, more courageous and more pure. So may it be! Amen. Then … the trumpets resounded and the cannon boomed while the Olympic banner was slowly lowered and the first sounds of a cantata were heard, sung and played by 1.200 voices and instrumentalists, a work by the celebrated Peter Benoit, beloved of the people of Antwerp, his countrymen. And so ended the Olympic Games of 1920, in the city of Rubens.”