Coubertin Quote for Nov, 20
The representatives of the different sports had never, as far as I know, met together for a joint purpose before I invited them to meet ... It was amusing to see how they eyed one another with suspicion.Share
In global sport today, it seems, there are innumerable organizations and conferences that gather all the governing bodies of sport together to exchange best practices, adapt to the times and debate future trends. The cooperation across governing bodies, nationally and internationally, is certainly one of the core characteristics that is driving the success and evolution of sport today. Of course, there are still turf battles, but overall the community of sport promotes the growth of a cooperative industry. While few recognize it, that is another direct legacy of Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s. Years before he launched the Olympic Games, he had begun to gather the various sporting societies (in France, at first, and then the world), to begin developing the rules of competition and codes of conduct that would be necessary for national and international championships. That work is part of the enormous transformation of modern sport wrought by the Baron’s vision. In “The Paris Congress and The Revival of the Games,” a chapter in his Olympic Memoirs, he recalled with a note of humor the first plenary meetings of the different sports.
“One other source of misunderstanding existed among sportsmen themselves: their inability to collaborate between one sport and another. The present generation will never be able to understand how things were at that time … in the 19thcentury sportsmen were firmly convinced that as the practice of one sport differed from another, the two were mutually harmful. A fencer would deteriorate if he were to box. An oarsman should beware of taking up the horizontal bar. As for the horseman of the day, the mere idea of running or playing football would have been extremely distasteful to him … The representatives of the different sports had never, as far as I know, met together for a joint purpose before I invited them to meet ... It was amusing to see how they eyed one another with suspicion.”