The French territory lost in the Franco-Prussian war is known as "Alsace," a large portion of northeastern France. France managed to regain the territory in the first World War.

There were three French "Napoleons" in all. Napoleon I (or simply Napoleon) is the most famous; he captured most of the European mainland before he was exiled from France.

The goal of the Olympic Movement, according to Pierre de Coubertin, is "to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."



In 1870, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was a mere seven-year-old when his beloved homeland was defeated in the Franco-Prussian War and Napoleon III and his army were captured. Like many nationalistic men of his time, Coubertin was filled with a desire for revenge. It is believed that this early memory later sparked his devotion to physical training.

As a young aristocrat, Coubertin contemplated a career in the military; however he soon realized he was not made to be a soldier and took up the study of law. Although Coubertin did not have an active role in military service, he was continually influenced by the army and the idea of physical education. Coubertin believed that the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian was an effect of a lack of "vigor" on the part of the soldiers. He spent much time studying the physical education taught in Germany, Great Britain and the United States. He then concluded that it was exercise that made a versatile and "vigorous" person.

In 1892 Coubertin first publicly related his notion of a modern Olympics at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athletiques. He was not the first person to have such an idea; revivals of modern Olympics had been unsuccessfully attempted for years. Nonetheless, Coubertin was the first to become successful because of his determination.

Not only was a revival of the Olympic Games about physical fitness, Coubertin also believed it could strengthen relationships between countries. It gave athletes the chance to be introduced to other nations and peoples of other nations and build a tolerance for others regardless of sex, race or creed. With advancements in modern technology it is now not only the athletes, but the spectators around the world as well, that can learn about other peoples and other nations. Prejudices and stereotypes can be broken down through the universal language of sports; good sportsmanship is an ideal foreign to no one. The Olympics make the world a smaller place, as one does not have to travel far to learn a great deal about another country. There may be no better lesson one can learn from than the actual interaction between oneself and another.

The inspiration came from the Olympic Games in ancient times. According to legend, the Games were founded by Hercules. The first known records say they began in 776 BC and lasted until 393 AD, yet there is evidence that has led historians to believe the Games date back before 776 BC. A growing interest in the Olympics had actually begun in the 1870s and 1880s when the ancient city of Olympia was uncovered by German excavations.

In 1984 Coubertin arrange a meeting between delegates from nine countries for the purpose of gaining approval for a modern Olympics. He decorated a meeting hall with neoclassical murals and spoke to the delegates about such a revival. At this meeting Coubertin finally aroused interest and the delegates voted unanimously for a revival. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed soon thereafter and the first modern Olympics took place in 1896.