Coubertin Quote for Mar, 15
Modern sports can admit of no other aristocracy than the aristocracy of the muscles.Share
Born into the French aristocracy, Baron Pierre de Coubertin spent his life promoting social equality through sport. Across the course of his career, he fought a seemingly endless battle to keep the gates of the Olympic Games open to every class and every race. Various groups, particularly wealthy sportsmen, sought to use the definition of amateurism to keep the working class out of the Olympics, but the Baron wouldn’t hear of it. Nor would he allow racist or ethnic arguments to eliminate any nationality from the Games. He was always adamant that the Olympics belong to all nations. Today’s quote comes from one of his most vehement defenses of the need for an open, non-discriminatory qualification process. It appeared in the Olympic Review in January 1910 in an article titled Modern Olympia.
“Qualification has technical, ethnic, social, and moral aspects. Any attempt at establishing privileges for certain social classes to the detriment of others would be repugnant to the public conscience. Modern sports can admit of no other aristocracy than the aristocracy of the muscles, one that is not the prerogative of any single category of individuals. So much for social qualification. In a way, ethnic qualification is already covered in the charter of the restored Olympiads. The charter states that no country may be represented by anyone but its own nationals: those who are citizens by birth, or those who have been duly naturalized. One must be able to draw inspiration from the flag under whose colors one is doing battle.”