Coubertin Quote for Sep, 16
Modern sports has something more, and something less, than ancient sports. It has improved equipment ... What we lack, however, is the philosophical foundation.Share
The idea that sport was always a means to a greater end for Baron Pierre de Coubertin rests at the heart of today’s quote. From the earliest days of his Olympic campaign, he sought to use sport to reform education and create a sports movement with a social purpose. Through education, he sought to deliver the full benefits of sport and exercise to the individual. Through the global prestige of the Olympic Games, he sought to unite the world in friendship and peace. That was the essence of the philosophical foundation he wanted for the modern Games, the core ideas that became the essence of his Olympic ideology. This passage is from the Baron’s open letter, “Neo-Olympism: Appeal to the People of Athens,” which we have often quoted. It appeared in Le Messager d’Athènes, a major newspaper of the times, and succeeded in rallying the people of Greece to support the 1896 Olympic Games.
“Modern sports has something more, and something less, than ancient sports. It has improved equipment: swimming, wrestling, and various forms of gymnastics are the only sports that have remained unchanged. Rowers row in skiffs or outriggers built to be exceptionally light. Cyclists move about on that wild creation, the bicycle, which is now advancing from one success to another. We have racquets, balls, skates, and foils that meet every demand ... What we lack, however, is the philosophical foundation.”