File Info : "The Olympic Movement, a twentieth-century phenomenon"
Contents : T he Olympic Movement a twentieth-century phenomenon n 23 June 1894 in the main auditorium of the Sorbonne in Paris a young Frenchman wise concerned and visionary set back in motion the old Olympic machine that had been abandoned in AD 392 as a result of a decree of the Roman Emperor Theodosius. Baron Pierre de Coubertin was to unearth the centuries-old rites of agonistic competition giving them a new form endowing them with universal principles and imbuing them with an ethical code which allowed them to survive the social cataclysms and various calamities through which Olympism would pass shielded by the faith of its underlying philosophy: the physical and mental perfection of man non-discrimination peace universal concord culture beauty and celebration. The birthplace of modern Olympism to a large extent prefigured the great cultural and humanist character of this phenomenon as it came to the fore for it emerged into the new light of modernity not on a sports field or track or in the elitist premises of a famous sports club but within the walls of a venerable university with all that this implies in terms of intellectual and humanist hierarchy and global dimensions. For the university with its aims of erudition and research seeks universality just as the vocation and aims of the modern Olympic Movement are themselves universal. The great modern Olympic celebration began in Athens in 1896 and after a century of progress full of successes glory but also tragedies it celebrated its centenary at the Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta in 1996 pushing vigor- by Conrado Dur ntez* ously on towards the twenty-first century. These first one hundred years have not been easy as Coubertin foresaw in 1920 when he stated with foresight: Olympism is a silent mechanism whose wheels do not creak and whose movement never stops despite the fistfuls of sand people cast at it as persistently as ineffectually to try to prevent it from working. The fistfuls of sand which have been cast at Olympism during its turbulent century of existence include the two World Wars which prevented the celebration of three editions of the Olympic Games (1916 1940 and 1944) the racial demonstrations in Mexico 1968 which although perhaps legitimate in the black power activists country of origin were inappropriate for the Olympic podium where excellence in sport is honoured in an egalitarian way absolutely regardless of colour race language or religion the terrorist attack in Munich where the global attraction of the Games was used as a sounding board by criminal or terrorist factions with the tragic outcome that is now part of history and where the Olympic arena was stained with innocent blood as athletes became the victims of an incident totally unrelated to sport and the political pressures applied by means of absurd boycotts (Montreal 1976 Moscow 1980 Los Angeles 1984) in which incompetent leaders buoyed up by an arbitrary and supine ignorance of what the Olympic celebration really means forced their athletes to use boycotting as a political battering ram unaware that the four-yearly 56 festival of the Games neither depends on nor is conditioned by any State however powerful and that it is not subordinate to the International Federations the National Olympic Committees or even the International Olympic Committee for the perennial joyous encounter of the Olympics belongs totally and exclusively to the youth of the world. The acute crisis to which boycotts led at the time when they threatened to become a regular occurrence was decisively eliminated by the skilful diplomacy and adept intervention of President Samaranch. In its modern version the essential characteristics of the Olympic Movement whose roots reach back thousands of years into unknown periods of the past and emerge on the stage of recorded history in the year 776 BC thanks to a chronological record of the first Games - define it as a phenomenon typical of the twentieth century whose distinguishing features have made it the main social force in the century of its development. Within the structures of our troubled society is there any motivation today besides Olympism that assembles such a large and varied family of adherents within its sphere of influence Is there any other human activity that with its many cultural scientific political philosophical or artistic dimensions brings together on a regular basis and in one place such a varied mosaic of races languages religions and political cultural and economic systems as the Olympic Games in their celebration of the Olympiads The vigorous impulse of the Olympic giant is at the zenith of its splendour as we approach the third Mil- lennium into which it will advance with a determined step keeping a watchful eye out for a new enemy: excessive commercialization. Otto Szymiczek who was Dean of the International Olympic Academy until his death s
- Rating :
- Surf Anonymously!
- File Type : .pdf
- Length : 2 pages
- File Size: 191.6 kb
- Virus Tested : No
- Verified : 2011-11-26
- Source: www.la84foundation.org
INFO HASH : bde3e8b2153fbea44c84acd1df1063375ab59976