Coubertin Quote for Jan, 11
To ask the people of the world to respect each other is not utopian, but in order to respect each other they must first know each other.

As an idealist, Coubertin believed in the best possibilities from human contact. He wasn’t always an optimist, but he believed in the transformative power of sport. After a lifetime dedicated to promoting international competition, he knew that by bringing people together on the field of play, especially people equally committed to the same disciplines of excellence and achievement regardless of cultural background, distances could be dissolved, differences could be overcome, mutual respect could take root, friendship might develop. As an idealist, Coubertin believed the rarefied experience of the Olympic Games—drawing the finest athletes from all countries together for the explicit purpose of celebrating our common humanity and our most noble goals—would lead inevitably to greater international understanding and closer human bonds.

In 1935, at the age of seventy-two, just two years before his death, Coubertin’s highest hopes for the movement he had birthed were on his mind—and so was peace between nations. In his long essay on The Philosophic Foundation of Modern Olympism for Le Sport Suisse, he wrote this telling passage, which touched upon the heart of his philosophy: “History is also the best guarantee of peace.