THE ANCIENTS HAD IT RIGHT, if you ask us. Athletics and the arts, arm in arm. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic movement, evidently felt the same way, as he insisted that arts contests be included in the revived Games. In 1912, at the international sporting contest he was instrumental in founding, de Coubertin himself took the gold medal for poetry with his entry “Ode to Sport”:
“O Sport, you are Beauty! . . . O Sport, you are Justice! . . . O Sport, you are Happiness!”
Eventually, it seems, the poetic and artistic contests just didn’t draw well, or perhaps the TV networks found covering them bothersome, and by the 1952 Games in Helsinki, they were dropped.
We at The Barnstormer felt a revival of sorts was in order and so, in cahoots with the fine folks over at Poets and the News, we’ll be bringing our readers poetic content inspired by these 2012 Games on a regular basis until the Closing Ceremonies. Our primary poetic correspondent will be Annik Adey-Babinski.
We want you to help us cover the London Olympics through poetry. If you have poems with an Olympic theme, get in touch with us at editors [at] thebarnstormer [dot] com.