Coubertin Quote for Jul, 19
The crown of wild olive placed on the ancient victor's head remained a symbol of selflessness and the chivalrous spirit.Share
Baron Pierre de Coubertin had a lifelong passion for the ancient Olympic Games and loved to celebrate its symbolism in his writings. The crown of wild olive leaves was, of course, an iconic image of the purity of archaic competition—although we know that as the Games grew in influence in the ancient world, the Olympic champions were fêted with honors that included cash and all manner of goods. Nevertheless, the idea of competing for a simple, selfless prize is still held in high esteem in many quarters. In his “Appeal to the People of Athens,” which appeared in Le Messager d’Athènes in 1894, the Baron evoked the power of that image to remind the Greeks of their glorious heritage.
“Without doubt, the athlete of Olympia was protected, to a certain point, by the sacred nature of the exercises in which he engaged, and the crown of wild olive placed on the victor's head remained a symbol of selflessness and the chivalrous spirit.”