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The predecessors of the Olympic movement, and Pierre de Coubertin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2004

Im Hoffeld 20, A8046 Graz, Austria. E-mail:


Coubertin's contribution to the revival of the Olympic Games and the widespread opinion that the modern Games were ‘a French invention’ should be placed in their broad historical context. There are several arguments for and against the assumption that he was the founder, or ‘father’, of the modern Olympics and the Olympic movement. The historical development of the Olympic ideas since the time of Humanism will be discussed, along with the Renaissance and the various attempts to organize Olympic Games before 1896, with a further emphasis on the importance of Neo-Humanism and classical scholarship in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, in order better to understand ancient Greek athletics. Finally Pierre de Coubertin's concept of the Olympic Games and the contributions of the young Greek nation for the rebirth of the famous ancient games after the War of Independence will be analysed.

Research Article
© Academia Europaea 2004

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