Coubertin Quote for Jul, 05
No doubt, low ambition and mean passions were present; there is no human assembly without them, no human institution which they do not infest. But despite them the whole result was something grandiose and strong …Share
A few days ago in Lausanne, Switzerland, IOC President Thomas Bach convened a meeting of the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS). Formed last year, IPACS had regathered to discuss their progress in attacking and preventing corruption in the Olympic world and beyond. When the meetings ended, Bach said, "Sport, like all other areas of society, cannot be immune from corruption. Our challenge is to act quickly and effectively when it occurs. This is crucial to protecting our integrity and therefore our credibility.” Baron Pierre de Coubertin would agree. He made similar observations 110-years ago in his article “Why I Revived the Olympic Games,” which appeared in the British Fortnightly Review in 1908. Noting the threats of corruption and cheating surrounding the modern Games, he made the point that the same threats existed during the ancient Olympics because ‘low ambitions’ are a permanent part of the human condition. Looking ahead, the Baron was optimistic that the modern Games would overcome these challenges as the ancients did—although he acknowledged it would be a continuing struggle. A century later, his ninth successor is still carrying on that fight today.
“Such were the Olympic Games of ancient times ... Men of letters and of the arts, ready to celebrate the victories of the energy and muscle assembled around them; and these incomparable spectacles were also the delight of the populace. No doubt, low ambition and mean passions were present; there is no human assembly without them, no human institution which they do not infest. But despite them the whole result was something grandiose and strong, which dominated Hellenic civilization, happily and gloriously influencing the youth of the country, and through them the entire nation.”