Today, on 23 June 2024, we celebrate the Olympic Day and the 130th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee, founded by Pierre de Coubertin in Paris on 23 June 1894. This is an opportunity to look back at a number of important events that have marked the history of the Olympic movement.

Firstly, we join France in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Games of the VIII Olympiad, held in Paris in 1924, and of the first Winter Olympic Games, held in Chamonix in 1924. 

As we look forward with satisfaction to the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, we send our best wishes for success to the French hosts who will be welcoming the world’s athletes in a few weeks’ time.

On this day we also remember Dr. Paul Martin, Swiss surgeon and middle-distance runner, was the first Swiss Olympian to compete in 5 Olympic Games (1920-1936), winning a silver medal in the 800 metres in 1924. He also competed in the 1500 metres and the 4×400 metres relay.

Dr. Paul Martin was the founder of the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee and a close and loyal friend of Pierre de Coubertin. It was already in 1974 that Dr. Paul Martin was given the go-ahead from the IOC to found the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee on 19 January 1975, with the mission to make the person of Pierre de Coubertin, his works and his idea of Olympism known worldwide. Remembering Pierre de Coubertin and the time of the beginnings in the early 1900s, he reflects in his Olympic Memoirs: “… sport was considered something unimportant, to be appreciated only to a small extent, like any other healthy amusement. As for Olympism, it was considered utterly superfluous, an eccentric neologism that drew incredulous, contemptuous smiles from the officials of the day. The philosophical value of the Games vanished into thin air and their educational value became nil”.

Left : Douglas Lowe (UK) gold medal with Paul Martin

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