Coubertin Quote for Jul, 06
O Sport, you are Daring! The whole meaning of muscular effort lies in one word—to dare.

Once again we return to Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s gold-medaling winning poem, “Ode to Sport,” which won the literature prize in the cultural competition at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics under the dual pseudonym of Georges Hohrod and M. Eschbach. Perhaps more than any other work in his career, “Ode to Sport” expresses the Baron’s heartfelt love of physical effort and the transforming power of competition.  In this passage, he recognizes the audacious courage of all those who put themselves on the field of play to test their gifts and strengths against all others.  Sport, in the Baron’s opinion, is human daring in its finest form.

“O Sport, you are Daring! The whole meaning of muscular effort lies in one word—to dare. What good are muscles, what is the point of feeling strong and agile, and why work to improve one’s agility and strength, unless it is in order to dare? But the daring you inspire has nothing in common with the adventurer’s recklessness in staking everything on chance. Yours is a prudent, well-considered audacity.”

Photo: The Swedish Team in the Parade of Nations at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, where the cultural arts competition was first contested.