Faster, Higher, Stronger

Olympic rings
Citius, altius, fortius
Now with the Olympic Games of Sotchi under way it is maybe a good time to remember that not only the modern Olympic movement was founded by Pierre de Coubertin, a French academic, but also that the Olympics motto ” Citius, Altius, Fortius” – “Faster, Higher, Stronger” – was coined by a French also: Henri Didon (1840 – 1900) – a French Dominican priest, athlete enthusiast and Coubertin’s friend.
The first meeting between Coubertin and Didon took place on January 2, 1891 when Coubertin came to ask the support of Didon to help convince religious schools to accept sport matches against the lay institutions. The first such competition took place on March 7 and Coubertin was its race director. On this occasion, father Didon came up with the motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”) and printed it on the banner of the religious school – “Albert le Grand” – he was leading. This phrase became the Olympic motto in 1896 at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens.
Father Didon has also a south west of France connection – beside his unfortunate and sudden death in Toulouse on the 13th of Mars 1900 – : he was a pupil and a friend of Father Henri-Dominique Lacordaire – the restorer of the Dominican Order in France in 1840 (the French Revolution abolished the Order in 1792) and youth educator at the Sorèze college, in the Tarn department.

Some quotes from Father Didon:

“The great struggles are not those from outside, but from within.”
“The strongest is the one who wants the most .”
“The defeated is only the one who admits defeat.”
“The fear makes slaves, the confidence make free beings”.
“I am not with Peter who stays I am with Paul who goes on”

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