Hans Lenk

Rowing home to Old Olympia
90 pages
ISBN 978-3-89733-597-4

Ancient Olympia is located in a gently swinging bucolic countryside decorated with pine trees, hills and grazing grounds for sheep and goats, friendly dogs and shepherds. Flowers blossom everywhere. Through the idyllic landscape flows the scenic river Alpheios born in the mountains of Arcadia and winding along the long and greening valley. Eventually, it passes by next to many coarse and giant grey stone discs and huge columns, ruins of temples dedicated to the highest Greek gods as Zeus and Hera. It is the Holy Sanctuary of the “land of the Greeks” of old, the Altis at Olympia below the foot of Kronos Hill. Here, almost three millenia ago, was the Center of the ancient Greek culture of Olympic gods and Great Games. “Arcadia” was considered the origin and “Golden Age” of elegiac literature, Olympia of top-level agons at the stadium. And of public encounters of political, religious and military leaders as well as agons of rhetoricians, historians and philosophers. This is even nowadays a place of ever again coming back to: Rolling home to Old Olympia. Even modern Olympians are lured into the magical entourage and scenery. Including the author of this booklet. Sixty years ago, he taught here as a first Olympic docent at the Olympic Summer Academy organized by the Hellenic and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), after having written the first socio-philosophical book on “Values, Aims, Reality of the Modern Olympic Games” (1964), summarized in English. Later, he wrote “S.O.S. – Save Olympic Spirit” (2012). Now, he was invited to come back to present the opening lecture of the International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) which was for the first time held in Ancient Olympia. Enthused, he came flying, rolling home to Old Olympia  as a former Olympic Champion in rowing  metaphorically: Rowing home to Old Olympia. Not only does he here present this keynote address, but vividly he offers his Olympic experiences and other quite funny but real Olympic stories  even his climb on Mt. Olympus. The Philosophy Department of the University of Patras organized this year’s IPO which was cosponsored by the International Olympic Academy (IOA). The IPO meeting is the final essay contest for high-school students who had to qualify in their previous national pretests in 50 nations (two for each land). 250 young philosophy enthusiasts took part. The over-all topic was “Life in Fair Competition”. The young students had a wonderful time together enjoying the acquaintance and blossoming international friendships. This is in full agreement and accordance with the values and ideas of the Olympic movement as fostered by the IOC and IOA. Quite in the same mood like the mentioned Olympic Summer Academies for sport students, teachers and officials  as well as the values of the Olympic Games and their rather new Olympic Youth Games. A hopeful value congruence of international solidarity and fostering friendship between young representatives all over the world. Only with such values embraced by the young generations we can hope for a better world. Therefore, it is really imperazive to go international and come back rolling home to Olympia – in sport and philosophy as well.

The author: Dr. phil. Dr. h. c. mult. Hans Lenk graduated in mathematics, philosophy, sociology at Kiel University. He is prof. Emeritus of Karlsruhe University (now KIT) and was President of the German and several international philosophical societies, the International Institute of Philosophy (now hon. Pres. of this world academy). Former Vice Pres. of FISP (world association of Philosophy). Member of the Russian Academy of Science and of the International Academy for Philosophy of the Sciences. He was Dean of his university and of the European Academy of Land Use. He got ten honor degrees of doctor and some distinguished visiting professorships from international departments. He published as author or editor 170 books, some of these and numerous articles in 20 different languages. As a rower he won two European championships (e. g. str. 4-) and as bow man an Olympic gold medal in the eight (8+ 1960). As an amateur coach he led his rowers to win a world championship (8+ 1966). Member of the “Hall of Fame of the German Sport“ and of ABI Hall of Fame (USA).

Rowing home to Old Olympia

  • Product Code: ISBN 978-3-89733-597-4
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