"Let us export our oarsmen, our runners, our fencers into other lands. That is the true Free Trade of the future; and the day it is introduced into Europe the cause of Peace will have received a new and strong ally. It inspires me to touch upon another step I now propose and in it I shall ask that the help you have given me hitherto you will extend again, so that together we may attempt to realize, upon a basis suitable to the conditions of our modern life, the splendid and beneficent task of reviving the Olympic Games." --Pierre de Coubertin, Olympic Manifesto
On January 1, 2008, Civilization Magazine became the first journal in the world to publish a special issue of the Olympic Manifesto to celebrate the 145th anniversary of Baron de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement. A recitation program was also initiated at Beijing Sport University, serving as the prelude to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The Manifesto was published in three languages; Chinese, English and French.
At the ceremony, 145 people recited the Olympic Manifesto in the Chinese version that contains more than ten thousand Chinese characters. The performers came from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), the General Administration of Sports of China, the partners and sponsors of the 2008 Olympic Games, as well as various personalities in the world of sports and performance.
The performers were divided into 29 groups, symbolizing the 29th Olympic Games. The reciting words inspired people to remember and revive the principals of the Olympics 115 years ago.
November 25, 1892, Baron de Coubertin, 29 years old, gave his speech at a conference celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the establishment of the Union of French Societies of Athletic Sports (USFSA), which favored his idea of reviving the Olympics. Coubertin promoted realizing the splendid and beneficent task of reviving the Olympic Games based upon conditions suitable for modern life. The historical speech is the famous Olympic Manifesto, which has become a classical proclamation of the Olympics.
The original manuscript of the Olympic Manifesto has been lost for more than 100 years. Civilization Magazine became the first in the world to issue the Manifesto in three language versions; Chinese, French and English. The Manifesto, which has made great contributions to the course of world sports, has finally come out of darkness.
Letters of congratulations have been received from Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, J. A. Samaranch, former President of the IOC as well as Liu Qi, Secretary of the Party's Beijing Committee and Israel President Shimon Peres. The National Museum of China, National Library of China and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne will jointly and permanently house the Manifesto.
(China.org.cn by Yang Xi, Huang Shan & He Shan, January 1, 2008)