Coubertin Quote for Mar, 23
I admire the young men, from all the countries in the world, who manage to find enough moral strength to handle a deeply-felt defeat without any apparent bitterness.Share
In the hierarchy of values Baron Pierre de Coubertin built into the modern Olympic Games, respect was near the top. In the arena, having respect for your competitors required an ability to lose with grace. In ‘The Athletic Spirt Most Dominate All Other Issues,’ an article the Baron wrote for Revue Sportive Illustée in 1928, he emphasized the quality of humility he witnessed in so many athletes over the years. His consistent use of the male pronoun reminds us that the Baron was a product of a 19th century paternalistic society. While he was a great visionary, he was far from perfect in his views on gender equality. We’ll have more on this in future posts.
“I always admire the fact that these young men, gathered from all the countries in the world for a competition enhanced in their eyes by its infrequency, historic example, and solemn setting, manage to find enough moral strength in themselves to handle a deeply-felt defeat, without any apparent bitterness, and to shake the winner's hand with heartfelt warmth. I have seen this happen a hundred times, and I have never grown tired of it. It fills me with delight.”