PIERRE DE COUBERTIN

In our conscience the name Pierre de Coubertin is linked to the revival of the Olympic Games. Coubertin was born in Paris in 1863. He came from an aristocratic family and was well educated. Quite early, his intellectual pursuits awakened his interest for educational issues and the importance of physical training for the education of youth. In 1892, he referred for the first time in public to the idea of reviving the Olympic Games and two years later, in 1894, he officially presented his proposal before a large audience, at the International Athletic Congress of the Sorbonne.

With his proposal and the staging of the Games in 1896, as a result of this proposal, Coubertin laid the foundations of the modern Olympic Movement and remains a pioneer since he was the man who conceived the idea of reviving the Olympic Games at international level. Coubertin believed that it was necessary to internationalize sport as a vehicle for world peace, the promotion of competition, democracy and mental and physical well-being. He referred to the Olympic Games “as a game which gave world youth, every four years the opportunity to take part in a joyful peaceful meeting, which contributes to eliminating accumulated misunderstandings and harsh disputes”.

He was the president with the longest term of the International Olympic Committee and he devoted all his life and fortune to the development of the Olympic Movement and the promotion of the Olympic Ideas. He died in Geneva in 1937 leaving behind him the historical and spiritual legacy of the Games. After his death his heart was brought to Ancient Olympia where it rests in a special commemorative stele at the Coubertin Grove in the facilities of the International Olympic Academy. Coubertin’s pedagogical and ideological views are the epitome of the modern Olympic Games and constitute fundamental value precepts, which are applied, all over the world, by the international Olympic institutions that promote the Olympic education of young people.