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Pierre de Coubertin’s historic founding text donated to the Olympic Museum

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© Copyright International Olympic Committee 2020. This content is the exclusive property of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is made available to you for bona fide media reporting purposes on the basis of the Creative Commons / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 IGO license terms. All rights reserved.
Location: Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland

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The donor was revealed as Alisher Usmanov, President of the International Fencing Federation when the original manuscript of Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s speech outlining the plans to revive the Olympic Games was today received by the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, almost 130 years after it was written. 

The 14-page manuscript contains the speech in which Coubertin first presented his visionary idea to revive the Olympic Games in the modern world. The Coubertin speech was delivered on 25 November 1892 at the old Sorbonne, in Paris, during the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques – when Pierre de Coubertin was just 29 years old. Two years later, in the same auditorium, the decision to re-establish the Olympic Games was formalised.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said: “Today we are witnessing history. At one level, we are witness to this historic document, the manuscript of the speech that laid out the philosophical foundations of the Olympic Movement. On another level, we are witnessing a historic moment, with this manuscript returning to its Olympic home, the place where it belongs.”

Thanking Alisher Usmanov for this donation, Bach added: “This donation goes well beyond the handing over of a manuscript to The Olympic Museum. Your generosity is making this unique moment possible, a moment that reminds us so vividly of the mission of the Olympic Games to unite the world in peaceful competition. It is thanks to your generosity that we can reflect on our history today and celebrate this direct link to our founding father.”

Usmanov said: “This manuscript is the manifesto for the modern Olympic Games. Pierre de Coubertin had a vision of a world united by athletic pursuits and not divided by confrontations and wars. I believe that The Olympic Museum is the most appropriate place to keep this priceless manuscript.”

Copyright

© Copyright International Olympic Committee 2020. This content is the exclusive property of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is made available to you for bona fide media reporting purposes on the basis of the Creative Commons / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 IGO license terms. All rights reserved.

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