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Baron Pierre de Coubertin


Genius of Sport will solve the single most perplexing mystery of modern sport: Why isn’t Pierre de Coubertin more widely known? How could it be that the man who founded the modern Olympic Movement has been so thoroughly forgotten? How is it possible that the Olympic Games—an event watched every two years by nearly half the world’s population—pay scant homage to the man who sacrificed everything to resurrect the mythic rituals of ancient sport for modern times?

Why Don't We Know Him?

His anonymity would be understandable if his story were boring. But it isn’t. Coubertin’s biography is as full of joy and heartbreak, obstacles and enemies, triumphs and tragedies as the stories of the greatest athletes who earned their fame on the stage he created. Without Coubertin, there would have been no Thorpe, Weissmuller, Owens, Zatopek, Bikila, Korbut, Comaneci, Spitz, Lewis, Retton, Bolt or Phelps—and yet, in generation after generation, as their legends have grown, his story has faded further and further away. Given his legacy, he should be a global icon today. Instead, he ranks as one of history’s greatest forgotten heroes—an injustice Genius of Sport will strive to correct.

In its dual narrative, Genius will blend the past and present in a dramatic storyline that contrasts the Baron’s obscurity with the brilliant visibility of his unrivaled celebration of humanity. Through his bio, Genius will establish the true origin story of the modern Olympics and the Baron’s indomitable quest to unite the world in friendship and peace through sport.


In point/counterpoint fashion, Genius will use the Baron’s own words to discover how his heirs in the Olympic family have fulfilled his vision and exceeded his hopes or corrupted his moral code and compromised his ideals. Layer by layer, it will peel away the mystery of when, where and why he was forgotten and denied the honors that he alone still deserves. Moreover, Genius will provide a deep understanding of the true purpose of the Olympic Movement today—and examine the threats it faces and the hope it holds for the future of our world.

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