The Complete Olympic Creed

Andrew Wheating , twice an Olympian. 

Andrew Wheating, twice an Olympian. 

In 1921 Pierre de Coubertin borrowed a Latin phrase from his friend, Father Henri Didon, for the Olympic motto. The motto in Latin is "Citius, Altius, Fortius" - which translates in English as "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."

However, I've always thought the motto to be but an echo of the Olympic creed: 

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Baron de Coubertin was inspired to adopt this creed after he heard a sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania, Ethelbert Talbot, at a service for Olympic champions in 1908.

It reminds us that in our lives, just like in the Olympics, winning is not the most important thing. The ultimate challenge, for which we all struggle, is to strive to be "Swifter, Higher, Stronger" than we once thought possible.


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus