The Olympic Spirit As the winter Olympics in Turin enter their final week, we remember the man behind the modern Olympic movement, a Frenchman named Pierre de Coubertin. In a 1935 speech, he compared the Olympic spirit to a religion.
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The Olympic Spirit

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The Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit

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As the winter Olympics in Turin enter their final week, we remember the man behind the modern Olympic movement, a Frenchman named Pierre de Coubertin. In a 1935 speech, he compared the Olympic spirit to a religion.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

Now a brief historical retrospective on the Olympics as the Winter Games in Turin head into their final week. We might not be enjoying curling or snowboarding had it not been for a Frenchman named Pierre de Coubertin. He resurrected the Olympics in the late 1800s. In a 1935 radio address from Berlin, Coubertin explained the connection between the ancient and modern Games. We read a translation.

Unidentified Man: (Reading) The ancient as well as the modern Olympic Games have one most important feature in common. They are a religion. When working on his body with the help of physical education and sport, like the sculptor at a statue, the athlete in antiquity honored the gods. By doing the same today, the modern athlete honors his homeland, his race and his flag.

ELLIOTT: Though Coubertin went on to say that the modern Games were elevated by internationalism and democracy, his radio address was mistranslated into German and used for Nazi propaganda.

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