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Chris Chase

Heart of Olympic founder lies in Olympia . . . literally

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Pierre de Coubertin is known as 'The Father of the Modern Olympics'. He founded the International Olympic Committee, presided over the creation of the first modern Games in 1896, came up with the ideas for an opening and closing ceremony and is responsible for the Olympics' quadrennial format. He also had an unusual and somewhat-creepy request in his will.

Upon his death, de Coubertin asked that his heart be interred in Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic games. Just his heart, mind you; De Coubertin requested that the rest of his body be buried in Lucerne, Switzerland.

I'd imagine that the reading of de Coubertin's will was an interesting place to be. There were probably a lot of curious glances exchanged, people saying "not it!" in French and likely at least one comment along the lines of, "oh come on, it's not like he's going to know if we don't do it".

But, the deed was done and now de Coubertin's heart sits in a marble monument in Olympia that commemorates the site of the ancient Olympics. And somewhere Tony Bennett is thinking, "damn, Olympia sounds much more poetic than San Francisco".

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