Coubertin Quote for Jan, 28
O Sport, you are Beauty!

It is not surprising that Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a student of the classical world, returns again and again to the theme of beauty in sport, especially since the Ancient Greeks, who invented the Olympic Games, also developed the first aesthetic theories of beauty in the western world. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle wrote that order, symmetry and definitiveness were the chief forms of beauty. James Joyce gave Aristotle’s theory a modern interpretation when he wrote that to possess beauty a thing must have “wholeness, harmony and radiance” in and of itself. Coubertin saw beauty in the form of the human body as it reached levels of athletic excellence in the cauldron of Olympic competition. And he clearly saw wholeness, harmony and radiance as the world came together in the beautiful celebration of the Games.

This is the second passage we have featured from Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s poem, Ode to Sport, which he submitted to the Cultural Arts competition at the Stockholm 1912 Games under the dual pseudonym, Georges Hohrod and M. Eschbach. It won the gold-medal, as noted on January 18, when we quoted the line, “O Sport, you are Peace!’ 

“O Sport, you are Beauty! You are the architect of this house, the human body, which may become abject or sublime according to whether it is defiled by vile passions or improved through healthy exertion.”