As far back as Geometric times, athletic exercise, music and dance constituted the three basic elements in the education of the young Athenians. The education of the young people of Athens had one central goal: to train them to grasp a sense of rhythm and control of harmony which would enable them to achieve the harmonious development of the body and the mind.
In modern societies, establishing a harmonious interaction between the physical and intellectual functions is considered a major challenge. The effort for developing such an interaction needs to be continuous and methodological. It needs to address the distinct characteristics of sports and culture and at the same time attempt to blend them. It needs to take advantage of the Information society which introduces new prospects in culture and education. It needs to address issues related to globalization and resist to the trends of the global market. And finally it needs to be linked with important events of global interest and significance, events which are in line with Olympism and Olympic values.
The Cultural Olympiad can support effectively the harmonious interaction between the physical and intellectual functions, provided that a number of preconditions are met and that its forces resist to commercialization and drive towards the removal of cultural and educational inequality as well as towards the convergence of sports with culture and education.