Pierre de Coubertin

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by benjo maso, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. benjo maso

    benjo maso Guest

    There is perhaps nobody in the history of sports so much misunderstood than
    Pierre de Coubertin. His name has been used for many years to exclude
    professionals from the Olympic Games. In fact, he never had any objection to
    paying sportsmen for their performances. On the other hand, he was dead
    against something else, and that was training. For sure, he accepted that an
    athlete would train a few hours a week to learn some of the basic skills of
    his sport. But according to him training for several hours a day was
    cheating. The philosophy behind this opinion was simple: people should
    compete with each other in their "natural" state. Excessive training was
    "unnatural" and would give an athlete an unfair advantage over his
    competitors. Doctors claimed that it was detrimental to their health.
    Coubertin was not the only adherant to this philosophy. On the contrary, the
    idea that it was morally unacceptable that athletes should enhance their
    performances in such an artificial way was quite common.For instance, when
    Pierre Giffard organized Paris-Brest-Paris in 1891 he hoped that the
    extraordinary conditions of the race (1100 km) would neutralize the
    differences between "natural" and "trained" athletes (he was wrong, of
    course). Coubertin would have loved to set strict rules for training in the
    charter of the Olympic Games, but had to admit there were too much pratical
    problems. How was it possible to pick out cheaters? Supervising athletes day
    and night? Of course, nobody even thought of blood- or urine-tests. Even if
    they had been effective they would have been considered contrary of the
    human dignity of the athletes.
    Gradually the objections against training disappeared. And now, after
    hundred years, we can only smile of the ideas of Coubertin, Giffard and so
    many others.Not only because they have become completely obsolete, but alos
    because they were completely harmless. Unfortunately, the philosophy of the
    "natural" athlete with all its consequences hasn't disappeared at all. On
    the contrary, the sports world - and especially the cycling world - seems to
    be obsessed with it. The only difference is that the objections are not
    anymore to training, but to other "performance-enhancing" means.
    I'm quite sure that in fifty years these ideas will have become as
    obsolete as those of Coubertin. But I'm not so certain that people will
    smile the way we do now. Because contrary to hundred years ago, they are
    wrecking careers, spoiling lives, discrediting the sports and doing a lot of
    other harm.

    Benjo
     
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  2. benjo maso schreef..........


    BRAVO !!!!
     
  3. benjo maso wrote:

    > There is perhaps nobody in the history of sports so much misunderstood than
    > Pierre de Coubertin. His name has been used for many years to exclude
    > professionals from the Olympic Games. In fact, he never had any objection to
    > paying sportsmen for their performances. On the other hand, he was dead
    > against something else, and that was training. For sure, he accepted that an
    > athlete would train a few hours a week to learn some of the basic skills of
    > his sport. But according to him training for several hours a day was
    > cheating. The philosophy behind this opinion was simple: people should
    > compete with each other in their "natural" state. Excessive training was
    > "unnatural" and would give an athlete an unfair advantage over his
    > competitors. Doctors claimed that it was detrimental to their health.
    > Coubertin was not the only adherant to this philosophy. On the contrary, the
    > idea that it was morally unacceptable that athletes should enhance their
    > performances in such an artificial way was quite common.For instance, when
    > Pierre Giffard organized Paris-Brest-Paris in 1891 he hoped that the
    > extraordinary conditions of the race (1100 km) would neutralize the
    > differences between "natural" and "trained" athletes (he was wrong, of
    > course). Coubertin would have loved to set strict rules for training in the
    > charter of the Olympic Games, but had to admit there were too much pratical
    > problems. How was it possible to pick out cheaters? Supervising athletes day
    > and night? Of course, nobody even thought of blood- or urine-tests. Even if
    > they had been effective they would have been considered contrary of the
    > human dignity of the athletes.
    > Gradually the objections against training disappeared. And now, after
    > hundred years, we can only smile of the ideas of Coubertin, Giffard and so
    > many others.Not only because they have become completely obsolete, but alos
    > because they were completely harmless. Unfortunately, the philosophy of the
    > "natural" athlete with all its consequences hasn't disappeared at all. On
    > the contrary, the sports world - and especially the cycling world - seems to
    > be obsessed with it. The only difference is that the objections are not
    > anymore to training, but to other "performance-enhancing" means.
    > I'm quite sure that in fifty years these ideas will have become as
    > obsolete as those of Coubertin. But I'm not so certain that people will
    > smile the way we do now. Because contrary to hundred years ago, they are
    > wrecking careers, spoiling lives, discrediting the sports and doing a lot of
    > other harm.
    >
    > Benjo
    >
    >


    Great stuff!

    Happy New Year!

    Steve

    --
    Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
    http://www.dentaltwins.com
    Brooklyn, NY
    718-258-5001
     
  4. Sierraman

    Sierraman Guest

    "benjo maso" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > There is perhaps nobody in the history of sports so much misunderstood

    than
    > Pierre de Coubertin. His name has been used for many years to exclude
    > professionals from the Olympic Games. In fact, he never had any objection

    to
    > paying sportsmen for their performances. On the other hand, he was dead
    > against something else, and that was training. For sure, he accepted that

    an
    > athlete would train a few hours a week to learn some of the basic skills

    of
    > his sport. But according to him training for several hours a day was
    > cheating. The philosophy behind this opinion was simple: people should
    > compete with each other in their "natural" state. Excessive training was
    > "unnatural" and would give an athlete an unfair advantage over his
    > competitors. Doctors claimed that it was detrimental to their health.
    > Coubertin was not the only adherant to this philosophy. On the contrary,

    the
    > idea that it was morally unacceptable that athletes should enhance their
    > performances in such an artificial way was quite common.For instance, when
    > Pierre Giffard organized Paris-Brest-Paris in 1891 he hoped that the
    > extraordinary conditions of the race (1100 km) would neutralize the
    > differences between "natural" and "trained" athletes (he was wrong, of
    > course). Coubertin would have loved to set strict rules for training in

    the
    > charter of the Olympic Games, but had to admit there were too much

    pratical
    > problems. How was it possible to pick out cheaters? Supervising athletes

    day
    > and night? Of course, nobody even thought of blood- or urine-tests. Even

    if
    > they had been effective they would have been considered contrary of the
    > human dignity of the athletes.
    > Gradually the objections against training disappeared. And now, after
    > hundred years, we can only smile of the ideas of Coubertin, Giffard and so
    > many others.Not only because they have become completely obsolete, but

    alos
    > because they were completely harmless. Unfortunately, the philosophy of

    the
    > "natural" athlete with all its consequences hasn't disappeared at all. On
    > the contrary, the sports world - and especially the cycling world - seems

    to
    > be obsessed with it. The only difference is that the objections are not
    > anymore to training, but to other "performance-enhancing" means.
    > I'm quite sure that in fifty years these ideas will have become as
    > obsolete as those of Coubertin. But I'm not so certain that people will
    > smile the way we do now. Because contrary to hundred years ago, they are
    > wrecking careers, spoiling lives, discrediting the sports and doing a lot

    of
    > other harm.
    >
    > Benjo


    Nice piece! I can't speculate on the next 50 years, and I will only be
    around another 30 or 40 max, so it doesn't matter that much to me and I
    don't think I will be that interested in cycling aftern the next 20, and its
    not likely to change too much by then hopefully. I like it the way it is now
    for ladies. They haven't nearly as many of the same problems as the men and
    I don't see it getting better and bigger then the mens events anytime soon.
    Less money, less drug use, makes for cleaner competition so you can really
    tell who the real iron women of cycling are, instead of the flares that
    shoot out brightly with the men and die suddenly.

    B-
     
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