Coubertin Quote for May, 31
I see the athletes of the future taking the oath before the Games, each upon the flag of their own country … solemnly affirming that they have always been loyal and honorable in sport, and will approach the Olympic contests in a spirit of loyalty and honor.

The first Olympic Oath was taken during the opening ceremony of the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games, but Baron Pierre de Coubertin begin to raise the idea that there should be an Athletes’ Oath more than a decade earlier.  In a long article titled “Why I Revived the Olympic Games,” which appeared in the British Fortnightly Review before the London 1908 Games, the Baron made his case. He informed his reader that in the Ancient Olympic Games, the competitors assembled before a statue of the god Jupiter and took a solemn oath, promising to compete in honor.  He wanted something like that—in modern terms—for every Olympic athlete.  Here’s the passage in which he described his idea:

“But I see the athletes of the future taking the oath before the Games, each upon the flag of their own country, and in the presence of the flags of other lands solemnly affirming that they have always been loyal and honorable in sport, and that it is in a spirit of loyalty and honor they approach the Olympic contests. Would not this provide a scene of dignified beauty fit to inspire actors and spectators alike with the most noble and generous emotions?”