Coubertin Quote for Oct, 24
Sport is exposed to serious dangers … If we fail to maintain its nobility, the hopes based upon it will be dashed.Share
The phenomenon of international sport was still in its infancy when Baron Pierre de Coubertin began warning against the external forces that threatened its noble moral purpose. At the outset of the Olympic Movement, he was particularly worried that commercial interests might destroy the integrity of modern sport and undermine its broader social and civic mission. He positioned the Olympic Games as a bulwark against such threats. That was part of his message to the people of Greece as he sought to rally their support for his fledgling Olympic Movement in November of 1894. This passage is drawn from his essay, “Neo-Olympism: Appeal to the People of Athens,” which appeared in Le Messager d’Athènes that month. While his warnings look quaint from our perspective today, recognizing that sport has been fully commercialized all over the world, the Olympic Games have managed to maintain a rare balance between commercial partnerships and a commercially free competitive arena. And the Olympic Movement has continued to pursue its quest for the greater good, staying true to its core mission of placing sport at the service of humanity everywhere in order to build a better, more peaceful world.
“We know that athletics is exposed to serious dangers, that it can decline into commercialism and into the mud, and we know that we must protect it from such a fate at all costs. If we fail to maintain its nobility, the hopes based upon it will be dashed. It will play no role at all in schools, and will have no effect on the life of the community. On the contrary, it will contribute to corruption by adding another element to it.”