Coubertin Quote for Jun, 01
No nation, no class, no profession is excluded.

As the German hosts of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games began the first Olympic Torch Relay of the modern era, they asked Baron Pierre de Coubertin to provide a message to the torchbearers who would carry the eternal flame from Olympia to Berlin.  At the heart of his message, the Baron sought to emphasize that everyone was welcome to join the rising phenomenon of worldwide sport—and that no one could be excluded. While he was careful not to insult the host country, it’s clear that this ethic of inclusion, which is mandated for the Olympic Games, flew in the face of the exclusionary ideas of the National Socialists who were organizing the Games.  This extract is from his “Message to the Olympia-Berlin Runners,” which appeared in Le Sport Suisse on July 22, 1936.

“Countless stadiums around the world now ring with the shouts of athletic joy, as they once rose from the gymnasiums of Greece. No nation, no class, no profession is excluded. The religion of restored athletics has done more than simply fortify public health. It provides a sort of joyful stoicism that can help the individual face the daily ups and downs of life.”

Photo caption:  Greek runner in fustanella during first Olympic Torch Relay in 1936.