Coubertin Quote for Oct, 13
A country is not truly sporting until the day when the greater part of its citizens feel a personal need for sport.Share
In 1925, Baron Pierre de Coubertin retired from his role as president of the International Olympic Committee. Having led the modern Olympic Movement for the past three decades—from its birth in 1894 to the Eighth Olympiad in Paris 1924—he looked back with pride on all he and his colleagues had accomplished, but he also spotted gaps in their achievements. By 1927, he had turned his focus on sport and education for adults who had missed those opportunities in their youth. He had launched an initiative to create new public gymnasiums—based on the ancient Greek model combining education and sport—for adults in cities around the world, but the effort faltered. In July of 1927, Le Figaro published “The Truth About Sport: An Open Letter to Frantz-Reichel,” in which the Baron called upon his old yet still powerful French colleague to help him mount this new campaign. “You can do what I cannot do in France,” he said, appealing for help, and offered this observation on the fact that as long as adults weren’t participating in sport, no nation could be called truly sporting.
“The percentage of real sportsmen in the population remains slight. Bluff and publicity conceal the true situation. The racket of the press and the deluge of championships mislead popular opinion. A country is not truly sporting until the day when the greater part of its citizens feel a personal need for sport. Judged by this criterion I do not know if even America is a sporting country. If all those who talk about sport were forced to be silent tomorrow, then those who engage in sport would look like a decimated phalanx.”
Photo: An early intramural sports team from Southern Pacific Railroads