Coubertin Quote for Jul, 28
(The) modern Games go back, little by little, to their illustrious ancestors by the successive restoration of both the ceremonies and the symbolic acts which gave to the former so great and deep a meaning.Share
In the Seventh Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920—the first Games after the World War I—Pierre de Coubertin took note of the addition of two specific rituals that would become permanent signatures of the modern Olympic Games. For the first time, the Olympic Flag with the five rings flew above the Olympic stadium and the athletes took an oath to compete fairly for the honor of their country and the glory of sport. From the Baron’s perspective, the symbolic impact of both new rituals signaled a deeper connection with the ancient Games of Greece. The honor of taking the inaugural oath on behalf of the 2,668 athletes gathered in Antwerp fell to Victor Boin, a fencer and swimmer from the host country of Belgium pictured below. While today’s quote comes from the article, “The Seventh Olympic Games,” which the Baron wrote for La Concorde that year, the text below is actually the full first edition of the Athlete’s Oath delivered by Boin at the Games. For more on the origins of the athlete’s oath, see the quote from May 31.
“We swear that we are taking part in the Olympic Games as loyal competitors, observing the rules governing the Games, and anxious to show a spirit of chivalry for the honour of our countries and for the glory of sport.”