ZUIHITSU-Random notes on Judo by Ronald Désormeaux
The ancient Olympic Games reached their zenith in the sixth and fifth centuries BC. They later fell into lesserimportance, prestige and popularity during the Roman Empire who considered them to be anti-roman culturalevents. Nevertheless, over the years, several other kingdoms emulated them periodically and have knownsome degree of success.
Partial pursuit of the Games
The numerous international conflicts, overt racism, zealous patriotism, wars and financial burdens have beentheir principal enemies. In the last century, prominent nations have continued to hold national competitiveevents to enlist national pride and overall fitness. Some international games were held strictly amongst alliedand Commonwealth of Nations as a mean to strengthen their alliances, consolidate their political ties and showtheir superiority.
The Olympic Movement was reborn in November 1892 at the Sorbonne Conference in Paris whereinternational delegates answered the call of Pierre Frédy also known as Baron Pierre de Coubertin to revive theGames and make it a socio-cultural movement aimed at tightening the bonds amongst nations and seekinginternational peace through excellence in sport contests.The renowned educator, social reformer and propagandist that were the hallmarks of Baron Coubertin hadsucceeded after a decade of interventions and international presentations to obtain sufficient consensus andenlist participation from across a wide range of Nations to hold the next Modern Olympics in Athens in 1896and possibly in Paris for 1900.There were 245 contestants from 14 nations who participated in 43 events at the 1896 “
”.Contestants at these first Modern Olympics had to be athletes and participants who had been classed as“amateurs”. They were expected to compete with fair play for the intrinsic pleasure of the contest and notrepresent their nations as “professionals” having obtained some sort of remunerations for their efforts. Thegrowth and importance of the games continued to expand over the years. There are now winter and summergames and over 300 separate competitions of sort. In London this year, there are 302 events with over 100nations participating.This success story was predicted and earlier reports from the Sorbonne conference mentioned that BaronPierre de Coubertin expressed his feelings of the Games in the following terms: “
Nothing in ancient history inspired more revering in me than the Olympics.”
Allen Guttmann a researcher at the University of Illinois expressed his awe about the movement as follow: “Alarge number of Olympics actors have testified that receiving their gold medals meant more to them thansetting world records or triumphing in other less symbolically weighted competition”.
Today, the world mediaapparatus will cover most events with detailed, live coverage and capture all the associated suspense anddrama they can. All the events are expected to light up the screens and the bleachers. Such exposures willsurely lead to a gain in popularity for all the sports, judo included.