The 2002 Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah would never have taken place without the vision of French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937).
With single-minded determination to celebrate world peace and friendship, he organized the revival of the ancient Games in Athens, Greece. The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.
"Strive for perfection," the visionary said.
Coubertin designed the Olympic five-ring logo to symbolize the five original continents: Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. They "represent the five parts of the world now won over to the Olympism and ready to accept its fertile rivalries," he explained. "The six colors thus combined represent those of all nations, with no exceptions. This is a real international emblem."
"Peace could be the product only of a better world; a better world could be brought about only by better individuals," he said. "Better individuals could be developed only by the give and take, the buffering and battering, the stress and strain of free competition."
An active sportsman, who believed sports were the springboard for success, Coubertin created the Olympic motto Citius, Fortius, Altius, "Faster, Strongest, Highest."
"Success," said Coubertin, "is not a goal but a means to aim higher."
Play well, win well.