Coubertin Quote for Mar, 30
The goal has been reached, and my work is done. Yet in keeping with your wishes, I shall remain as your president until 1924 so that, together, we may celebrate in Paris the Thirtieth Anniversary of the restoration of the Olympic Games on the occasion of the Eighth Olympiad.Share
Good Friday seems like a fitting moment to remember the first major signal from Baron Pierre de Coubertin that he was winding down his Olympic career. In a circular letter to the Members of the International Olympic Committee on September 15, 1921, Coubertin acknowledged the advent of the new Executive Board and the end, basically, of his singular control of all Olympic matters. The full text of the letter is below for those interested. Suffice to say, in the remaining days of his presidency the Baron intended to put his focus on the promotion of popular education and the development of regional games.
“On October 1, the Executive Committee that you have appointed at my request to handle the operations of our Committee in my absence will begin its work. This Committee, which comprises Messrs. de Blonay, Guth-Jarkovsky, de Baillet-Latour, Edstrom, and Polignac, is as skilled as it is devoted. We can have every confidence that its work will be outstanding.
“The situation of the Olympics is satisfactory from every perspective. The future of the Eighth Olympiad, and that of the Ninth, has been settled in the best interests of all, which should be the sole criterion for our decisions. The International Committee, which has fifty-two members from forty-one countries in Europe, Africa, America, and Asia, is truly "global". Its authority has never been more firmly founded nor more justified. Fruitful understanding exists among its members, the National Committees before which they represent us, and the International Federations.
“Therefore, I can say that the goal has been reached, and my work is done. Yet in keeping with your wishes, I shall remain as your president until 1924 so that, together, we may celebrate in Paris the Thirtieth Anniversary of the restoration of the Olympic Games on the occasion of the Eighth Olympiad. Until then, according to my promise, I will work toward thc advancement of the Regional Games. Held periodically under your patronage in various parts of the world, these Games will provide valuable human support for Olympism. Thus it was that the Fourth Far Eastern Games, recently held at Shanghai before a crowd of 150,000 spectators, achieved quite remarkable results in all respects.
“While remaining as President of the Committee, however, I plan to exercise my freedom as of now, in the service of popular education. I firmly believe that mod- ern society will not rise from the ruins accumulated through its ambitions and injustices. I believe that different forms of social existence will be needed before long. I see the only guarantee of general advancement in the prior spreading of culture, primarily the study of history.
Very sincerely yours,
Pierre de Coubertin”