Coubertin Quote for Sep, 23
The athletic record stands inescapably at the very summit of the sports edifice …Share
In “Legends,” the last chapter of his Olympic Memoirs, Baron Pierre de Coubertin recognized that the historic record book of sport was essential to the future of competition and individual athletic motivation. Last Friday night, all those at the US Olympic Assembly were reminded of this indelible truth when the USOC paid tribute to the 50-year-old Olympic long jump record of Bob Beamon. At the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, Beamon jumped 29’ 2½”, breaking the world record by nearly two feet ... in a feat that many still consider the greatest single athletic achievement of modern times. While Mike Powell broke Beamon’s world record at the IAAF World Championships in Tokyo in 1991, it nevertheless still stands as the Olympic record. It stands, inescapably, as the Baron said, at the pinnacle of the long-jumping records at the Games—a nearly mythic challenge to every young leaper hoping to reach the summit of sport. Here’s the full passage of the Baron’s remarks.
"’For one hundred to go in for physical education, fifty have to go in for sport. For fifty to go in for sport, twenty will have to specialize. For twenty to specialize, five will have to show themselves capable of astounding feats.’ It is impossible to get away from this basic truth. Everything is closely bound up with everything else. Thus the athletic record stands inescapably at the very summit of the sports edifice, like the "eternal axiom" referred to by the French writer Taine concerning Newton's law. You cannot hope to remove it without destroying everything else.”