Coubertin Quote for Sep, 28
The modern tendency to simplify the athlete's attempts to set ever higher, more amazing records … is exactly the opposite of the ancient conception …Share
While Baron Pierre de Coubertin was an innovative thinker and visionary in many spheres of sport and life, he was also an adamant defender of the traditions of the ancients—and their glorious architecture. In this case, he stood opposed to those who had proposed expanding the track in the restored Panathenaic Stadium in Athens to accommodate the speed of modern athletes. The curves of the ancient track were too severe for modern runners who risked flying off course at full speed—and the idea of removing two rows of seats and widening the track had surfaced. Here was the Baron’s response: “The idea of mutilating Pericles’ stadium is this way …! It must have been a ‘barbarian’ who proposed such a sacrilegious idea.” This quote comes from “Olympia 1927,” a twenty-third chapter in the Baron’s Olympic Memoirs.
“The modern tendency to simplify the athlete's attempts to set ever higher, more amazing records by giving him every possible material aid, is exactly the opposite of the ancient conception which aimed at making his efforts more praiseworthy by surrounding them with obstacles to be overcome.”