Coubertin Quote for Dec, 25
Like ancient athletics, modern athletics is a religion, a belief, a passionate movement of the spirit that can range from ‘games to heroism.’Share
Baron Pierre de Coubertin was fond of framing the Olympic Games and modern athletics as a movement with all the trappings of a new religion—with stadia serving as sanctuary and spectators gathered like a congregation. The analogy can easily be extended through the rituals and symbols of the Games. Olympism is, of course, a philosophy of life better categorized as humanism than theology, a modern expression of Hellenism that seeks to produce happiness and balance in this life through the development of the whole human being, physically, intellectually, emotionally. In Paris in March of 1929, in a long lecture on Olympia, the Baron once again described the parallels between modern athletics and religion. He was using the argument then to address those critics who continued to dismiss the Olympic Movement as frivolous games of little value, asserting that the elite athletes at the Games formed a coterie of idealists that was good for society.
“Like ancient athletics, modern athletics is a religion, a belief, a passionate movement of the spirit that can range from ‘games to heroism.’ Picture this basic principle, and you will come to see the athletes whose excesses you criticize and censure today as an elite who radiate energy, people who are far more idealistic (and, therefore, necessary for the public) than those who claim to stick to simple physical education to guarantee the future.”