for the founders of the Modern Olympic Games
January 11, 2006
The IOC rarely mentions Soutsos, Zappas or Brookes
Re: The Idea of Peace as Coubertin's Vision for the Modern Olympic Movement: Development and Pedagogic Consequences by Norbert Müller, University of Mainz-Germany (The Sports Journal Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 2006)
"As a young man, in 1892, Coubertin had the idea of renewing the ancient Olympic Games, which duly took place in Athens in 1896."
Norbert Muller has made some important historical errors regarding the history of the foundation of the modern Olympic Games.
Panagiotis Soutsos, a poet and newspaper editor, first wrote about the revival of the Olympic Games in his poetry titled 'Dialogue of the Dead' in 1833. He inspired a billionaire philanthropist, Evangelis Zappas to fund a revival of the Olympic Games. The first modern Olympic Games took place in a square in Athens in 1859. Zappas paid for the refurbishment of the ancient Panathenian stadium that was used for an Olympic Games in 1870 and another in 1875. Zappas funded the building of the first indoor Olympic arena called the Zappeion which was used as such in the Olympic Games of 1896, 1906 and as the Olympic Media Centre in 2004. His legacy was spent refurbishing the Panathenian stadium a second time in readiness for the first "International" Olympic Games held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee in 1896.
Furthermore, Baron Pierre de Coubertin met with an Englishman, in 1890, who had also made efforts to revive the Olympic Games in a small town in England called Much Wenlock. Although these Games were not very Olympic-like and were never held in a stadium. They became more Olympic-like, as events were adopted from the first modern Olympic Games, in the early 1860s. The Baron met with Dr William Penny Brookes. Many of Brookes' ideas were used in the organisation of Coubertin's revival.
It was Soutsos who first wrote about the idea for the revival. It was Zappas who funded the revival. It was Brookes whose ideas were used to found an Olympic Movement. The Baron founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. An organisation that rarely mentions Soutsos, Zappas or Brookes nor makes any efforts to honor these founding fathers. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The President of the IOC makes every effort to mention Baron Pierre de Coubertin as the founder of the modern Olympic Games as often as possible.
Recommended reading by Zappas.org:
The Modern Olympics: A Struggle for Revival
A Brief History of the Olympics