Coubertin Quote for Mar, 02
The great precepts of tolerance and mutual respect (were) bequeathed to us by the Olympism of the ancients.Share
As Baron Pierre de Coubertin discovered early, the Olympic idea had the power to attract talent from all levels and sectors of society; not only athletic talent, but brilliant thinkers, dreamers, artists and administrators. At the Le Havre Olympic Congress in 1897, Coubertin offered the floor to the British delegate, Reverend Robert S. Courcy-Laffan, and was stunned when Laffan delivered an exquisite speech on the moral values of sport "in a French of the greatest purity, with a measure of choice and expression that were quite unexpected." The Headmaster of Cheltenham College, Laffan became one of Coubertin's invaluable allies in his Olympic campaign, founding the British Olympic Association in 1905 and guiding the organization of the Games in London in 1908.
In 1912, as Coubertin exulted in the enchanting success of the Stockholm Olympic Games—the first Olympics that truly fulfilled his vision—it was Laffan who contributed the most inspiring summary of the peace and harmony that reigned among the athletes in Stockholm. In his Olympic Memoirs, Coubertin summarized the effect of Laffan's article, Pax Olympica, which appeared in the Olympic Review the year of the Games.
"Pax Olimpica (was) a delightfully inspired sermon written by Laffan, that was eminently classical and at the same time called attention to the great precepts of tolerance and mutual respect bequeathed to us by the Olympism of the ancients: a sermon whose influence will be far-reaching, for never before had such harmony reigned among so many athletes."