Coubertin Quote for May, 16
… radiant with sunlight, exalted by music, framed in the architecture of porticoes … the glittering dream of ancient Olympism … dominated ancient society for many centuries.Share
This poetic passage is a compression of ideas about ancient Olympism that Baron Pierre de Coubertin delivered in a speech in 1919 celebrating the “Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Olympic Games.” He was talking about how beautiful it would be if the modern athlete could experience the full cultural immersion that the ancient athlete enjoyed in Olympia, where the mix of art, culture, sport and nature created an experience so treasured by the Greeks they sustained it for twelve centuries.
“Imagine if (the athlete’s joy) were to expand outward, becoming intertwined with the joy of nature and the flights of art. Picture it radiant with sunlight, exalted by music, framed in the architecture of porticoes. It was thus that the glittering dream of ancient Olympism was born on the banks of the Alpheus, the vision of which dominated ancient society for so many centuries.”