Coubertin Quote for Jun, 21
The dust of Olympia is still what stirs a healthy competitive spirit the most.Share
This is the earliest reference to Olympia in the 16,000 pages of books, articles, bulletins, newsletters and correspondence produced by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Having made several trips to England to study their model of education in 1883 and the next few years, the Baron wrote an article on “English Education” for La Reforme Sociale that appeared in 1887. As he developed his arguments for integrating British school sports into the French education system, he made the point that it was the glory of ancient honors and the legends of Classical Greece that stirred the souls of the British children at play. While he left no record indicating he had considered reviving the Olympic Games at that point, it is easy to speculate that this reference was the Baron’s first step toward the modern Games.
“Minds, like bodies, are constantly occupied by that passion which carries them away and subjugates them. The English believe in the need for enthusiasm in children. But ... they must have something more alive, more real. The dust of Olympia is still what stirs their healthy competitive spirit the most, and the most naturally. They gladly pursue honors for which they see grown men proud to compete. Is all this harmful to work, not merely in terms of the time it takes, but also through the preoccupation, the constant thinking that results from the very tournament nature of these games?”