Olympism has its roots in the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, who encouraged people to develop their physical, moral, intellectual, cultural and artistic qualities harmoniously. This meant taking part in a blend of sport, art, educational and cultural activities. This philosophy was celebrated through the Olympic Games, a festival involving athletes, scholars and artists from many cultural fields.
Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin who in 1894 established the Olympic Movement, is recognised as the father of modern Olympism. He modernised ancient Greek ideals and launched them to the rest of the world through the staging of a modern Olympic Games. Today, the festival celebrates the ideals which remain at the heart of Olympism. By blending sport with culture and education, Olympism promotes a way of life based on:
Goal of Olympism
Olympism uses sport to promote the balanced development of people as an essential step in building a peaceful society that places a high value on human dignity.
Sport and the Olympic Movement
Pierre de Coubertin was not a dreamer or a wide-eyed innocent. From his first steps onto the public stage (around 1880), he realised that sport, which he wanted to be the cornerstone of his educational system, was being eaten away by the same ills that were rotting the life of society: racketeering, nationalism, chauvinism, xenophobia. With a virulence bordering on violence, he denounced the influence of money on betting based sport, which was already sullied by the poison of drugs. The Victorian model of sport as he had discovered it through reading and during trips to Great Britain, was not enough. He wanted to give modern sport a theoretical corpus – as has been the case in ancient Greece – to shelter it from the damaging effects of modern civilisation.
- Yves Boulongne
- The balanced development of the body, will and mind
- The joy found in effort
- The educational value of being a good role model
- Respect for universal ethics including tolerance, generosity, unity, friendship, non-discrimination and respect for others.