Coubertin Quote for Dec, 27
The future belongs to those who will be the first to dare to change the instruction of the young adult ... It is that young adult, not the child, who holds and dictates fate.Share
If you assemble and read the various messages that Baron Pierre de Coubertin wrote for the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, it becomes clear that he was acutely aware of the political controversies swirling around the Nazi hosts. While he was reluctant to criticize the organizational effort behind the Games—and did in fact defend the German hosts against the boycotts threatened and provided the protocol expressions of gratitude after the Games—he consistently included in his messages principles of Olympism that were anathema to Hitler’s Aryan philosophy. In his “Message to the Olympia-Berlin (Torch Relay) Runners,” from which this quote is taken, you find the idea that the right education—the education of the future—will produce “a vigorous and intentional peace well suited to the age …” In the opening ceremony, the Baron’s voice rang out through loudspeakers, proclaiming his most famous quote: “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part, just as in life, what counts is not the victory but the struggle.” In light of the Nazi controversies, this can be read as an appeal to the world for participation against the natural political instincts to stay away—and can be read as well as a message to the Nazi team that winning at all costs is a distortion of the Olympic spirit. In the closing ceremony, his message against racism and hatred was explicit. “The choices and struggles of history will carry on, hut gradually understanding will replace dreadful ignorance; mutual understanding will soothe impulsive hatreds. In this way, what I have worked toward for half a century will be strengthened.” All in all, it is clear that while the Baron refused to disavow or criticize the 1936 Games or their hosts, he clearly hoped his philosophy of friendship and peace would triumph. And if it was to triumph in the future, it would have to begin on the platform of educational reform.
“The future belongs to those who will be the first to dare to change the instruction of the young adult ... It is that young adult, not the child, who holds and dictates fate. This will bring about a vigorous and intentional peace well suited to an age of athletics, ambition, and will.”