Princess Charlene commemorates 130 years of the modern Olympics at the Sorbonne 

princess charlene sorbonne

Princess Charlene has represented the Principality of Monaco at a very special concert event held at the Sorbonne in Paris, an occasion that marked the 130th anniversary of the revival of the Olympic Games and the Olympic movement by Pierre de Coubertin. 

Millennia after the Olympics began in Ancient Greece, a French historian and teacher, Pierre de Coubertin, decided that the time was right to reintroduce the Games and bring the concept back to life in the modern era.  

On 23rd June 1894, 130 years ago, de Coubertin made a landmark speech at the Sorbonne that is credited with the founding of the Olympic Games as we know them today, as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The date has since become known as Olympic Day. 

See more: In pictures: Olympic flame tours the French Riviera

To mark the occasion, and with the 2024 Paris Games now just over a month away, the Pierre de Coubertin Family Association organised a special event that was held over the weekend in the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne.  

Princess Charlene of Monaco, a former Olympian herself, was among the 700 VIP guests who joined representatives from the association, in addition to Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, David Lappartient, the president of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, and the president of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet, at the philharmonic concert, which was delivered by the Sorbonne Student Orchestra.

Other highlights included performances by the university’s cultural organisation, the Crous de Paris, and a breakdancing showcase by members of the French Dancesport Federation. The discipline will be appearing at the Olympics for the very first time in history this summer.  

ICO President Bach gave an emotional speech on the legacy of de Coubertin, saying, “Not only did he revive the Games, he also conceptualised the idea of international sport, accessible to all, with universal rules. This system, still in force today, bears witness to the durability of his vision.” 

princess charlene sorbonne
President of the IOC Thomas Bach made a touching speech heralding the legacy of Pierre de Coubertin. Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

Echoing the words of the founder of the modern Olympics, he concluded, “We can be proud to perpetuate his legacy into the future. I raise my glass to the Olympic idea, which has pierced through the mist of ages like a powerful ray of sunlight and returns to illuminate, for us, with a glow of joyful hope”. 

To read more about the event, click here.

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Main right: Tony Estanguet, second from left, Alexandra de Navacelle de Coubertin, third from left, Princess Charlene of Monaco, centre left, Thomas Bach, centre right, and David Lappartient, first on right. Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco