Coubertin Quote for Feb, 08
An idea that dates back some 2,000 years, Olympism stirs men’s hearts today—as in days past—and satisfies one of the most vital and noble instincts.

As we look forward to the opening of the XXIII Winter Olympics tomorrow night, we look back as well to the birth of this modern movement of friendship and peace through sport. It was nearly 124 years ago in the Sorbonne when Baron Pierre de Coubertin ushered the modern Olympic Games into existence. On that night, he too was looking back—across 20 centuries. As he noted the power of the Olympic ideal to inspire those in the ancient world as it inspires us today, he also observed that Olympic sport satisfies the vital need for human competition—and the noble discovery of whom among us is the best in the world at each sport in the Games.

“We have had the opportunity to bring together representatives of international athletics and in a unanimous vote that lacked all controversy, they decided to restore an idea that date backs some two thousand years, an idea that stirs men's hearts today as in days past, an idea that satisfies one of the most vital instincts and, regardless of what some may have said, one of the most noble.” From Coubertin’s summary of the Sorbonne Congress in Paris in June of 1894.