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Original document which created the modern Olympics could fetch $1 million


A historic document which became the blueprint for the modern Olympic Games is up for sale as part of Goldin Auctions’ October Legends sale.
The document was written by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French aristocrat regarded as the ‘father of the modern Olympic Games’ who founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894.

De Coubertin was himself inspired by the work of England’s Wenlock Society, a group of educators who held regular amateur athletics tournaments in the tradition of the ancient Grecian Olympic Games.

After witnessing the tournament first-hand, which combined both English country sports and ancient Greek and Roman events, de Coubertin decided that the world needed an international version which would bring nations together in peaceful competition.

In January 1894 he sat down and outlined his proposals for a modern version of the original Grecian Olympic Games.

He proposed the games should begin in 1900 as a part of the Grand Exhibition in Paris, held inside "a separate enclosure reproducing exactly the Altis of Olympia". He believed that all competitors should be amateur athletes, and that the event should encompass everything from traditional Greek sports like wrestling to modern, cutting edge sports such as cycling.

Having created his initial blueprint for the games, he then established the International Olympic Committee in June 1894, and his idea quickly caught the imagination of the public. It was decided the first games should be held in their original home of Greece in 1896, and the modern Olympics as we know them were born.

The remarkable document offered at Goldin Auctions is de Coubertin’s original hand-written plan for the revival of the games, signed and dated January 30, 1894, and bearing an official "Comite International Olympique 1894" stamp.

As a vital piece of history from the world’s biggest sporting tournament, the document is expected to sell for more than $1 million when the online auction ends on October 29.


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