Coubertin Quote for Feb, 23
The rising tide of athleticism is healthy and fruitful. I'll do anything to increase its strength, to help it overcome obstacles that are thrown in its path.

In 1890, Baron Pierre de Coubertin proclaimed his intention to do everything in his power to support the rising tide of international sports competitions. There remained great opposition in France against sport in general, sport in education and the very idea of competing against other countries. As he led the fight for sport in France, Coubertin envisioned the possibilities of harnessing the growing popularity of international sport, particularly in England and the United States, to carry his campaign forward--and thus the Olympic Games were born, spreading the tide of athleticism all over the world.

This particular quote was inspired by Coubertin's visit to Much Wenlock in 1890, where he witnessed a special edition of the Olympian Games, an annual country festival for the people of Shropshire that Dr. William Penny Brookes had produced for more than forty years. We'll have more on Much Wenlock and Brookes in future quotes, but for today, here's the full passage from Coubertin's article, The Olympic Games at Much Wenlock: A Page from the History of Athletics, which appeared in La Revue Athl├ętique in December of 1890.

"People have cried out, cursed, and fought against this spread of athleticism, but the naysayers have been drowned out by the rising tide. I believe that this tide is healthy and fruitful. I will do anything to increase its strength, to help it overcome the obstacles that are thrown in its path in France today, as in England before."