Sportsman. He was the founder of the modern day Olympic Games competition. Born Pierre de Frédy in Paris, France, an aristocratic French pedagogue and historian, he was inspired by visits to British and American colleges and universities to improve education, especially sports education. He conceived of an international competition to promote athletics. Seeing a growing international interest in the ancient Olympics, fed by recent archaeological finds at Olympia, De Coubertin devised a plan to revive the Olympic Games and organized an international congress on June 23, 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris proposing to reinstate the ancient Olympic Games. The congress led to the establishing of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), of which De Coubertin became the general secretary. It was also decided that the first modern Olympics would take place in Athens, Greece and and held every four years. These Games proved a success, and De Coubertin eventually took over the IOC presidency until shortly after the 1924 Olympics in Paris. He remained Honorary President of the IOC until his death in 1937. He was buried in Lausanne (the seat of the International Olympic Committee), although at his request his heart was buried separately in a monument near the ruins of ancient Olympia. Each year, when the Olympic Torch is lit, the first runner enroute to the host city stops in Coubertin Grove. In the most metaphorical of ways, Coubertin's spirit has remained in Olympia and will for all of time.
Bio by: Fred Beisser