Coubertin Quote for Mar, 28
Strength and agility … are achieved through exercise and practice: balance in the moral order, mens sana in corpore sano, as the ancients used to say.Share
In Ancient Rome, mens sana in corpore sano—a healthy mind in a healthy body—was a motto for the good life, a goal to be desired. Baron Pierre de Coubertin described it as a happy balance in the moral order to be achieved through exercise and the practice of sport. He claimed that people throughout time in the most advanced and primitive societies recognized its benefits, as he noted in one of his earliest articles on English Education in La Réforme Sociale in 1887 when he was 24.
“Strength and agility have been deeply appreciated among savage and civilized peoples alike. Both are achieved through exercise and practice: happy balance in the moral order, mens sana in corpore sano, as the ancients used to say.”
While the use of the word savage makes us cringe today, it was part of the lingua franca of Coubertin’s time, reflecting the unfortunate but prevalent attitudes that reigned among the colonial powers--attitudes that Coubertin would work to change as he developed the inclusive philosophy of Olympism.