Coubertin, Pierre Frédy, baron de

Coubertin, Pierre Frédy, baron de pyĕr frādē´, də co͞obĕrtăN´ [key], 1863–1937, French founder of the modern Olympic games . Born into an aristocratic family, he pursued a career as an educator and historian, developing a theory of physical education and athletic competition as a means to develop moral character. This, combined with a somewhat romantic view of ancient Greece, led to his desire to revive the Olympic games. Coubertin was the driving force behind the establishment (1894) of an organizing committee for the Olympics, and he served (1896–1925) as president of the International Olympic Committee. He also was instrumental in founding an organization to coordinate athletics in France and started the first French periodical entirely devoted to sports.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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