Wednesday , 18 May 2022

Alexei Butovsky. At the sources of the Olympic Movement by Sergiy Putsov

Alexei Butovsky greatly contributed to the formation and development of the Olympic movement, but his name was unfair forgotten in the Soviet times. He was born on June 9, 1838 in Ukraine in Piatygortsy village. This year all Olympic community celebrated his 177 anniversary.

Study of works written by a Ukrainian, Butovsky shows that his first meeting with an eminent French sports personality, Pierre de Coubertin, took place in 1892 in Paris.

Early in 1890s, Coubertin completed the first stage of the organizational work to unite domestic and international forces around the idea of rebirth of the contemporary Olympic movement. He naturally tried to enlist support from influential persons from other countries who shared his views not only in France but also abroad. Such a like-minded person and adherent of his idea was Aleksey Butovsky who was also looking for support of his views on development of physical training and sports in his country on the part of well-known international sports figures.

Aleksey unreservedly supported Coubertin’s idea of holding the I Olympic Games that was treated with considerable skepticism in many countries.

In 1894, Butovsky was actively helping Pierre de Coubertin in the organization and holding of the historic International Athletic Congress in June in Paris. Congress approved the Olympic Charter and the International Olympic Committee the first membership of which included representatives from 12 countries. Aleksey Butovsky was elected to the IOC from Russia, and he worked there until 1900.

In 1896, Butovsky, as a member of the International Olympic Committee, was at the I Olympic Games in Athens.

Upon coming back from Athens, Butovsky applied great efforts to transfer Coubertin’s noble idea to Russia to achieve participation in the II Olympic Games in Paris.

However, efforts were not enough to overcome the all-Russian inertia. It sent six athletes only to the IV Olympic Games held in 1908 in London. That small team had a very big success: 2 silver and 1 gold medal. Those achievements proved that efforts applied by Aleksey Butovsky were not fruitless.

Aleksey Butovsky’s creative versatile heritage is especially valuable because it contains the basic conceptions on theory and methods of physical education and sport – the ideas that are actual even nowadays because of their great scientific, theoretical and practical value, not speaking about his role as one of the creators and inspirers of the Olympic movement.

About Sergiy Putsov

Sergiy Putsov is PhD holder at National University of Ukraine, Physical Education and Sports Department.

Check Also

The results of the Panhellenic Paralympic Badminton Championship

Στους αγώνες που έγιναν σε συνδιοργάνωση με τον Δήμο Αλεξανδρούπολης

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *