The modern Olympic Movement was established by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894. His goal was to establish more than just a sporting competition. His goal was to create an international movement that would promote an integrated culture of sport and education, promote sport as a means to peace and promote a set of values that would extend beyond the playing field.
Inspired by ancient Greek philosophy that placed sport on an equal footing with art, philosophy and music in establishing an individual’s proper physical and mental balance, de Coubertin developed a movement that is today one of the most powerful in the world.
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” - Olympic Creed.
Read more about the origins and goals of the Olympic Movement http://www.olympic.org/uk/organisation/index_uk.asp