Coubertin Quote for Nov, 14
I wish to see a revival in a … modernized form of the municipal gymnasium of antiquity … where any adult … may practice the simplest forms of exercise ...Share
For thirty-one years, from 1894 to 1925, Baron Pierre de Coubertin guided the development of the Olympic Movement, overseeing the pageantry of seven Olympic Games. Having set in motion an international sports movement and global festival to serve the athletic ambitions of youth, he decided, upon retiring, to dedicate his remaining years to helping deliver the benefits of sport and education to adults, specifically the adults of the working class who had missed out on those opportunities during their adolescence. In quick succession in 1926 and ’27, he launched the ‘Union Pédagogique Universelle’ and the ‘Bureau lnternational de Pédagogie Sportive,’ both designed to open new opportunities in sport and education for working adults. At the time, the Baron was bereft of resources, having exhausted his family fortune on the Games, and since he no longer wielded the influence of the offices of the IOC, his new initiatives attracted little support. In July of 1927, Le Figaro published the Baron’s epistle, “The Truth About Sport: An Open Letter to Frantz-Reichel,” an appeal to an old colleague to rally behind his new ideas. The letter did not produce the desired results, but this passage, like so many others, reflects the Baron’s unwavering belief in the power of physical education to enhance the quality of life for everyone and contribute to building a better world.
“I wish to see a revival in an extended and modernized form of the municipal gymnasium of antiquity ... where any adult at any convenient moment, and without risk of being spied upon and criticized, may practice the simplest forms of exercise - running, jumping, throwing, and gymnastics... and for a moderate charge engage in boxing, take a fencing lesson, gallop in a riding ring or swim in a pool.”