A universal meeting of young people from throughout the world
We all look forward to the first Olympic Games in China next August. We all look forward to sharing the unique celebration that China and Beijing will stage for "One World, One Dream".
I should like to pay tribute to the new initiative of Civilization Magazine in publishing, not only in English and French, but also for the first time in Chinese, the manuscript of the "Olympic Manifesto" by Pierre de Coubertin, thus reminding us what the Olympic Games are all about and disseminating the Olympic ideals and values of friendship, peace and universality among the Chinese people and the people from all over the world.
The following pages will undoubtedly help us to know and understand even better how the visions and ideas of the young Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin still remain relevant today. This book is a tribute to the man who, on the evening of 25 November 1892, launched his idea of reviving the Olympic Games, which the Greeks had instituted in 776 B.C. and ended in 392 A.D.
On 23 June 1894, in the great amphitheatre of the Sorbonne in Paris, Pierre de Coubertin succeeded in meeting a global challenge by gaining the approval of the participants in the International Congress for the revival of the Olympic Games and the creation of the International Olympic Committee as well as the organisation of the first Games in 1896 in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of Olympism.
I would like once again to congratulate Civilization Magazine for this commendable project and an authentic document of great value, thus illustrating the essence of the Olympic Games: a universal meeting of young people from throughout the world, with the same goal and the same enthusiasm.
As Coubertin said: "humanity must draw from the heritage of the past all the strengths that can be used to build the future. Olympism is one of those."
By Juan Antonio Samaranch
The International Olympic Committee Honorary President