Coubertin Quote for Sep, 03
The Olympic torch is running from city to city around the world. Its course extends even to the Far East.Share
To anyone who knows and understands modern Olympic history, it is clear that Baron Pierre de Coubertin had the ability to “see far,” as his personal motto said, and to envision the changes that the Olympic Movement would produce in the future. In the late 1880s he foresaw a future in which the nations of the world competed in international sports championships and moved to make the Olympic Games their pinnacle. Today’s quote suggests his the power of his visionary proclivities. It comes from the article, “Between Two Battles: Between Olympism and the Popular University,” which appeared in La Revue de la Semaine in January 1922. What’s important here is the date. The baron was writing thirteen years before the Olympic Torch Relay came into existence and six years before the first Olympic cauldron was lit, but just after Japan competed in its second Olympic Games in Antwerp. The baron knew, of course, that there were religious torch relays at the Ancient Games. His use of the flame as a metaphor for the growing spirit of sport revealed his sense of the symbolic power of the modern movement—and his hopes that the Games would continue to spread around the world, ensuring the flame would never be extinguished.
“The Olympic torch is running from city to city around the world. Its course extends even to the Far East. Should the runners grow weary, some young nation will come forth to take the torch from the unconcerned hands that were ready to let it fall. Thus the athletic flame will be kept from being extinguished. That is why I re-established the Olympic Games, and not for the vain glory of restoring lost architecture.”