COubERTIn And hIS vIEWO WOMEn
Like most o the men o his time,Pierre de Coubertin was not inavour o the participation o women in the Olympic Games.“… the true Olympic hero, in my view, is the individual adult male.”
Le Sport Suisse, 31st year, 7 August 1935, p. 1.
© The Olympic Museum, 2
Eotio o te Omic Games
Pierre de Coubertin drew his inspiration rom the ancient Olympic Games which wereheld in Olympia (Greece) between the 8
century B. C. and the 4
[ see sheet “The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece ].
ThE lEGACy O ThE pAST
In 1896, more than 1,500 years ater the ancient Games were banned, the rst modernOlympic Games eatured many reerences to this legacy o Greek Antiquity.The IOC’s decision to hold them in
(Greece) was a reminder that the OlympicGames
origiate i Greece
.The majority o the competitions took place in the ancient stadium (the
), which was restored or the occasion.Most o the sports on the programme o the ancient Olympic Games were echoed in themodern Games.The organisers even went as ar as inventing a new race, inspired by alegendary event: the
Although the modern Olympic Games were inspired by the past, they are also quitedierent:
GAMES AROund ThE GlObE
In contrast with the Olympic Games o Antiquity, each edition o the modern Gamestakes place in principle in a
ieret cit a cotr
In ancient times, the Games were held rst on one day, and nally over ve days.Today the ocial duration is no more than
AThlETES ROM All OvER ThE WORld
The ancient Olympic Games were the preserve o Greek citizens, whereas the modernGames are
oe to a
. The 245 participants in Athens in 1896 came rom 14 dierentcountries.The 1912 Games in Stockholm (Sweden) were the rst to boast the presence o nationaldelegations rom the
. The universality o the Olympic Games was assured.
WOMEn jOIn In
As at the ancient Games, the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 were an exclusively
made their Olympic debut our years later at the 1900 Games inParis (France), only two sports were open to them: tennis and gol.In early 20th century society, emale athletes had to deal with a great deal o prejudice :there were ears that they would lose their emininity by growing overly muscular or beco-ming sterile. The rst emale athletes had to ace up to this type o preconception. Little by little, they earned a place at the Games, sport by sport, and event by event.
Te Moer Omic Games
This race commemorates theexploit o a soldier who, in 490 BC,ran rom Marathon to Athens toannounce that the Persians hadbeen deeated in battle (distan-ce: approx. 34.5km).The marathon race has been onthe Olympic programme sincethe Athens Games in 1896. TheOrganising Committee o the1908 Games in London xed thelength o the marathon at 42km195m, the last 195 metres beingadded to enable the course to gorom Windsor Castle to the RoyalBox in the London Stadium. Thisbecame the ocial distance aso the Games in 1924.
ThE pAnAThInAIkO STAdIuM
in Athens hosted the ancientsports competitions known as thePanathenaea.