Coubertin Quote for Nov, 09
“Never had a Swedish summer been more glorious … nature was resplendent, the sun perpetually shining ... the general gaiety of the young knew no bounds.”

At the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s vision of a modern Olympic festival finally reached full fruition.  Like today’s quote, his descriptions of the atmosphere verge on the euphoric.  Everything from the efficiencies of organizational effort to the spirit and camaraderie of the athletes, from the joy of the spectators to the intimacy of the venues and the wonder of the weather added up to a splendid celebration.  With the enhancements of the Cultural Arts Competition, which awarded five medals for creativity in music, literature, architecture, painting and sculpture, the Baron finally witnessed the full sense of Olympic perfection that had been missing in various degrees from the first four editions of the Games.  Chapter 13 of his Olympic Memoirs, The Fifth Olympiad (Stockholm 1912), rings with the pleasures of the Baron’s observations. As he looked to the future, he had high hopes that the 1916 Olympic Games in Berlin would repeat if not exceed Stockholm’s brilliance, but it was not to be.  World War I forced the cancellation of the Games and the heights of Stockholm devolved into to the struggles for survival of the Olympic Movement itself. 

“Never had a Swedish summer been more glorious. For five whole weeks, nature was resplendent, the sun perpetually shining, with light sea breezes, radiant nights, the joyful atmosphere of gaily-decked streets, flowers everywhere, and illuminations dimmed only by the brilliance of a light that never paled. In the wonderful setting of the city, the general gaiety of the young knew no bounds.”