Coubertin Quote for May, 22
I approach this new work in the sports spirit that together we have cultivated, that is to say with the same joy of effort …

If there is one great constant theme at the heart of Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s philosophy of sport, it is the idea that joy springs from effort.  The idea of joy appears throughout his writings over the course of 50 years.  He returns to the idea again and again—in various contexts—as we have seen in many of the quotes that have already appeared here, such as:

 “…  a dream of joyous hope.”

 “… the first prerequisite is to be joyful.”

 “… the joy of a more intense life.”

“The pleasure of the muscles, that source of joy …”

 “… the total joy …”

“ … one must see joyful humanity ... Let us be joyful!’

And, looking ahead, there are more quotes on joy to come, among them:

 “O Sport, you are Joy!”

“The athlete enjoys his effort.”

Today’s quote comes from the Baron’s retirement speech, delivered to the Olympic Congress in Prague in 1925 as he announced his new projects—and made a point that he would approach them with the same joy of effort they had developed together while guiding the Olympic Movement. 

The US Olympic Committee celebrated the Baron’s emphasis on joy when it issued “The Joy of Effort” medallion for the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Arts Competition.  Note the inscription at the bottom of the medal.