chapter  28
6 Pages

Olympic education and the Olympic Movement

The role of Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees and National Olympic Academies in Olympic education
ByRoland Naul, Deanna Binder, Antonín Rychtecký, Ian Culpan

Doubtless, there would have been no development of Olympic education without the inauguration of the Olympic Games. Although Pierre de Coubertin never promoted the term, his educational ideas make him the father of Olympic education. In many chapters the authors traced the beginnings of Olympic education in their countries back to the writings of Pierre de Coubertin. But clearly it was the participation of most countries in the Olympic Games and therefore the membership of their National Olympic Committee (NOCs) on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that stimulated interest in Olympic-related educational activities. For example, as reported by Sanada, Kano Jigoro of Japan was an enthusiastic supporter of Coubertin’s Olympic Games, joining the IOC in 1909. His interest, as with many early IOC members, was in the education of youth. In fact, most representatives on the first IOC were involved in youth sport. Naul et al. (Germany) and Monnin (France) both note in their chapters that the educational impact of the early Olympic Games Movement became influential in their countries before World War I. In other countries this impact only became apparent after World War II, usually because a country hosted an Olympic Games: Australia (1956), Canada (1976), Japan (1964), Russia (1980), USA (1984), Spain (1992). China returned to the Olympic Movement in 1979, but it was the hosting of the Olympic Games in 2008 that brought Olympic education to the attention of the Chinese people. Hai Ren reports that:

The Games staged in Beijing in 2008 were regarded as a nation’s dream becoming a reality. Obviously, it is a milestone in Olympic development in 352China and bonds the most popular nation in the world ever closer to the Olympic Movement.

(Ren, p. 120 in this volume)