Coubertin Quote for Sep, 01
No matter how successful any Olympiad may be, one can and one must set one's sights even higher.Share
The brilliance of the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games—the Games of the Fifth Olympiad—finally achieved the vision Baron Pierre de Coubertin had in mind when he led the revival of the Olympic Games in 1894. Despite the great success of Stockholm, which integrated cultural and arts competitions for the first time, achieved remarkable organizational efficiencies and produced glorious athletic events, the Baron looked ahead and wrote that the Olympic Movement could reach still higher. He evoked the motto of the Olympics—citius, altius, fortius—which was generally applied to the athletes, to challenge his colleagues and future organizers to push ever harder. This excerpt if from his article, “A Bird’s Eye View of an Olympiad,” which appeared in the Olympic Review in August 1912, one month after the Stockholm Games ended. While he acknowledged that “some Games may take a step backward,” this quote is characteristic of the Baron’s constant admonitions to continually strive for more.
“Glorious weather, enthusiastic crowds, and the unified coordination of effort and will are three terms that summarize the essence of the Fifth Olympiad (The recently finished Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games). These terms will serve as praise for organizers and participants alike, but they are inadequate for the critical task before us. From the start, this Review has espoused the resolution of the International Committee, as expressed in the famous dictum: citius, altius, fortius. No matter how successful any Olympiad may be, one can and one must set one's sights even higher. This may be a difficult task to accomplish at times, and through men's errors or particular circumstances, some Games may take a step backward from the achievements of previous ones. In preparing for the next Games after that, one must simply get back onto the track that leads upward, that is all. This time, nothing of the sort happened—just the opposite. But simply by mentioning this possibility, we underscore the spirit in which we approach this study of the recent Olympiad.”