Coubertin Quote for Oct, 12
In terms of Olympism, the only thing international rivalries can be is fruitful.Share
Not long after the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, the French journalist, André Lang, recorded an interview with Baron Pierre de Coubertin, which appeared in Le Journal that year. As noted in earlier posts, Lang said the Nazis had “disfigured the Olympic idea” and put Coubertin in the awkward position of having to defend the German hosts. Lang then pushed the Baron to denounce the award of the 1940 Olympic Games to Tokyo, but the Baron stood his ground, claiming that Olympism’s first foray into Asia could only be fruitful. While the interview became contentious and revealed some of Coubertin’s paternalistic attitudes and outdated notions, it also revealed the strength of the Baron’s uncompromising perspective on the progressive geographic expansion of the Olympic Movement. Here is Lang’s question about Tokyo and Coubertin’s combative response:
“Lang:Don't you find the selection of Tokyo and the desire of the Japanese to astound the world in 1940 fraught with rather dangerous consequences?
Coubertin:Not at all. I am glad of it. I wanted it. I consider the arrival of the Games in Asia a great victory. In terms of Olympism, the only thing international rivalries can be is fruitful. It is good for every country in the world to have the honor of hosting the Games and to celebrate them in their own way, according to the imagination and means of its people.”