In August 2008, the Olympic Games will be held for the first time in the city of Beijing, inviting its citizens and the world's citizens to celebrate together "one world, one dream".
These Games in Beijing will thus respond to the vision of a man who, more than a century ago, expressed the need to organise an international competition open to athletes from all over the world also with a view to achieving a peaceful world.
Indeed, it was on 25 November 1892, in the amphitheatre of the Sorbonne University in Paris, that Pierre de Coubertin, then aged 29, delivered his "Olympic Manifesto", explaining for the first time publicly his project for the re-establishment of the Olympic Games. For Coubertin and his peers, the Olympic Games were not an end in themselves but a means to promote physical education and sport, thus teaching the youth of the world basic human values that would enable them to lead better lives and build better communities. Coubertin devoted his life to developing a movement that supported his ideas of using sport to advance culture and education and then to bring the world's young people together every four years in peaceful competition to celebrate that very dynamic between sport, education and culture.
This century-old philosophy still remains that of the IOC in the 21st century: promoting physical education and sport as an educational means for young people through the Olympic Games.
China has played a very important role in the promotion of the Olympic Movement, sport, and its values. The Beijing 2008 Games will not only be of a very high quality, but will also be where the peoples of China and the world are enriched through cultural exchange, celebrating the strength and power of the Olympic values such as excellence, friendship and respect.
By publishing the manuscript of the "Olympic Manifesto" -- in French, English and Chinese -- , Civilization Magazine is once again showing its deep commitment to promoting the Olympic ideals and knowledge of the Olympic Movement and Games, recalling the essential values at the heart of sport.
By Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee
(Source: Civilization Magazine)