At the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin won one of the few gold medals ever awarded for a work of “mixed literature,” writing under the pseudonym of Georges Hohrod & M. Eschbach.
Follow this link to read “Ode to Sport,” an earnest and lyrical piece about the Olympics. From 1912 until 1948, the Olympics included art competitions with medals for literature, design, music and painting. Here are the first two stanzas from “Ode to Sport”
O Sport, pleasure of the Gods, essence of life, you appeared suddenly in the midst of the grey clearing which writhes with the drudgery of modern existence, like the radiant messenger of a past age, when mankind still smiled. And the glimmer of dawn lit up the mountain tops and
flecks of light dotted the ground in the gloomy forests.
O Sport, you are Beauty! You are the architect of that edifice which is the human body and which can become abject or sublime according to whether it is defiled by vile passions or improved through healthy exertion. There can be no beauty without balance and proportion, and you are the peerless master of both, for you create harmony, you give movements rhythm, you make strength graceful and you endow sup pleness with power.
Click here to explore the list of medalists from those years–the United States only won nine medals. We searched for as many copies of these medal-winning works as possible, but we only uncovered one more link.
Follow this link for a free eBook of The Story of Rouen by Sir Theodore Andrea Cook (author who won the silver medal in “Mixed Literature” in 1920 Olympics for Great Britain)