Original Olympic Games outline to be auctioned in New York

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The original 1892 manuscript laying out the premise of the modern Olympic Games will be auctioned in December in New York, Sotheby's announced Wednesday.

In the 14-page text, Olympics creator Pierre de Coubertin, a French aristocrat and athletics advocate, outlined his vision to revive the ancient athletic tradition in the form of a modern, international competition.

He wrote the document as a speech in which he championed the Games's spirit of excellence, promotion of fair play and "personal as well as societal benefits."

"The 14-page manuscript is the only known copy of the manifesto in existence," Sotheby's said in a statement.

Worth an estimated $700,000 to $1 million, the document will hit the block as part of an auction of books and manuscripts on December 18.

Two years after giving the speech, Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee, and in 1896 the first modern Olympics were held in Athens.

"The manifesto boldly proclaims a wholly modern and progressive vision of humanity," said Richard Austin, head of Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts Department.

The "timeless statement is one that continues to resonate today in its concept of unity," he said.

The text was shown on Tuesday and Wednesday at Sotheby's in Los Angeles, its first-ever public display.