The 2014 Winter Olympics begin on February 7th in Sochi, Russia.
The official motto for the Olympics was coined by a French Dominican priest by the name of Fr. Henri Didon, OP.
He was a popular preacher known for his stirring sermons. As a youth, he had been an outstanding athlete in France. When he became a school principal, he introduced sports as a key component of an all-around education.
One of Fr. Didon’s friends was Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympics. One day, de Coubertin attended a talkgiven by Fr. Didon to the members of a sports association. The priest spoke of “faster, higher, stronger,” i.e. focusing on self-improvement and discipline through sports rather than emphasizing coming in first place.
De Coubertin liked the phrase, and used it as the official motto of the Olympics.