An initial examination of the 5 themes on which the story lines of 51 Sprints are based.
The Games were to be a universal event that would bring together the geographically divided peoples of the world. De Coubertin took equality of nations as starting point and was wary of the Games being used as a stage for the political struggle among states.
When European scientists attempted to construct hierarchies among races, white Caucasian males were always placed on top. They were seen as the pinnacle of evolution – a claim that was supported by various kinds of physical measurements.
Sporting events often confirm the cultural meanings of sex and gender, but also offer the opportunity to reformulate them. The Olympic Games developed into a platform on which gender roles were made visible and were also publicly renewed.
De Coubertin saw a responsibility for the higher classes and aristocracy to support the lower classes in their sporting endeavours.