by Carlisa Simon
The Baron Pierre de Coubertin Statue is monument in the corner of the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia. This statue was created in honor of the founder of the Modern Olympic Movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. On the back of the statue there is a plaque that reads quote by Coubertin: “The most important thing in the olympic games is not to win but to take part, just as in life, the most important thing is not the triumph but the struggle.The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well” (Coubertin). Coubertin was responsible for reviving the ancient games in 1896.
This monument was built in reference to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. For Atlanta, the Olympics was the largest undertaking in the city’s history. “The Olympics brought increased attention and investment to the area from around the globe. New sports venues were built park spaces was created, sidewalks and streets were improved and even housing patterns were altered” (Newman). Atlanta wanted to be represented as an international city ready to play an significant part in global commerce. The olympic games had so much of a impact on the city of Atlanta that it literally changed the landscape of downtown Atlanta which increased tourism a great deal.
Because Coubertin revived the Olympics in 1896, the significance of this monument lies in the fact that between 1896 and 1996, it has been a 100 years for the Olympic games although there are only held every four years. The monument was funded by the International Olympic Committee and the United States Pierre de Coubertin Committee and sculpted by American Scupltor Raymond Kaskey. The monument has grecian pillars with Coubertin walking up the steps into the grecian pillars to resemble Coubertin reviving the ancient olympic games originally held in Greece. I question the purpose of this monument being built to represent only Coubertin and not the International Olympic Committee (Founded by Coubertin). The Pierre de Coubertin statue is the only statue in Centennial Olympic park that represents one person among other statues dedicated to the athletes that participated in the olympic games.
Coubertin definitely contributed greatly to the Olympic Games but a monument that represented Coubertin and the International Olympic Committee all together.