Coubertin Quote for Nov, 25
As for athletics in general, I do not know what its fate will be, but … it presents two new features … (two new) secular transformations: It is democratic and international.

The first time Baron Pierre de Coubertin publicly proposed the revival of the Olympic Games, he failed miserably.  Part of the reason is the length of the lecture he delivered at the Sorbonne on November 25, 1892.  His discourse wandered into the weeds of international diplomacy and the dangers facing all nations before he finally came around to proposing the modern Olympic Games as a new international platform for peace.  His Olympic proposal arrived as an afterthought.  But in his last paragraph, from which this quote is taken, he placed the idea of the Olympic Games and modern athletics in the context of serving the rising needs of democracy.  His audience did not grasp his intentions that night, but twenty months later, back in the Sorbonne, they would rise in acclamation to the same basic concept—delivered in a shorter and far more eloquent speech to a group of internationalists who knew what was coming.  Here’s a longer passage from the end of the 1892 speech, “Physical Exercises in the Modern World.”

“As for athletics in general, I do not know what its fate will be, but I wish to draw your attention to the important fact that it presents two new features, this time in the series of these secular transformations. It is democratic and international. The first of these characteristics will guarantee its future: anything that is not democratic is no longer viable today. As for the second, it opens unexpected prospects to us. There are people whom you call utopians when they talk to you about the disappearance of war, and you are not altogether wrong; but there are others who believe in the progressive reduction in the chances of war, and I see no utopia in this.”