Coubertin Quote for Jun, 14
(My friends) are many, thank God; so are my enemies. In this world, the one doesn't go without the other. Enmity is the reverse side of friendship; a good cloth needs a lining—it preserves it. The same is true of friendship.Share
There is no question that you need genuine, deeply committed friends to launch anything as ambitious as the modern Olympic Movement. While there was no shortage of people opposed to Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s Olympic ambitions over the years, he had a devoted international coterie of friends who helped ensure his success. In October of 1918, the Baron, perhaps in search of new friends and recruits, initiated the idea of restoring the Greek Gymnasium in cities and municipalities around the world. He believed they would help unite body and mind amid the public discourse as they did in the ancient world, thereby helping advance the social peace. He expressed this idea in “Olympic Letter II,” which appeared that month in La Gazette de Lausanne.
“I am in the habit of disconcerting my friends. They are many, thank God; so are my enemies. In this world, the one doesn't go without the other. Enmity is the reverse side of friendship; a good cloth needs a lining—it preserves it. The same is true of friendship.”
Coubertin then reviews how his friends helped him restore the Olympic Games, draw the arts and letters into the Olympics, and finally launch the new science of The Psychology of Sport, before turning to the matter at hand.
“The task now is to construct social peace by restoring the gymnasium of antiquity, the place where the philosophers preached ...”
His proposal to restore Greek Gymnasiums did not attract the necessary support. Undeterred, the Baron would return to it eight years later after he retired from the IOC, but would achieve only modest, short-lived success even then.