The Modern Olympics

The Modern Olympics : A Struggle for Revival

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The 1996 Olympic Games marked the centenary of the modern Olympics. By most accounts, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was believed to be solely responsible for the vision behind Olympiad I in Athens in 1896. This text challenges this view, revealing that Coubertin was only the last and most successful of many contributors to the dream of the modern Olympics. The author presents a history of the Olympic revival movement in the 19th century, including two Olympiads - one in London in 1866 and another in Athens in 1870. He traces the idea for the modern Olympics to a pair of poems published by a Greek poet in 1833 and follows the tale to the village of Wenlock, England where W.P. Brookes held local Olympiads, founded the British Olympic Committee, and attempted to organize international Olympics. The author contends that Coubertin was inspired by Brookes and that, until the two met in 1890, Coubertin had no interest in reviving the Olympic Games. Instead of a singiular vision, Coubertin's contribution to the founding of the modern Olympics was the zeal he brought to transforming an idea that had evolved over decades into the reality of Olympiad I and of all the Games held thereafter.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 160.3 x 233.9 x 23.1mm | 576.07g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0801853745
  • 9780801853746

Review quote

"This book is scholarly, unique, revelatory. And it will be controversial, especially among serious Olympic fans and scholars"--John A. Lucas, Pennsylvania State University
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About David C. Young

David C. Young is professor of classics at the University of Florida.
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