ABSTRACT

Sport provides the modern world with some of its most inspiring images and metaphors – images of power, courage, dedication and resolve in the face of adversity. Sport evokes notions of beauty, creativity and transcendental freedom. To many, sport stands above the crude, crass materialism of everyday life; while to others, sport is more – it is the antidote to those debasing realities. Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s revival of the Olympic Games remains the most celebrated, and to some most inspirational, project in which sport would bring about major social change. For Coubertin, the modern Olympics would transform European society and return it to the traditional values which capitalism had supplanted and replaced with overtly materialist ones.