Apollon – Iron Game History – August, 1997

“Certain people,” Edmond Desbonnet reflected in later life, “are born painters, poets, or musicians; others are warriors, brigands or orators. I was born a professor of physical culture.”1 If we are to believe his pronouncements, there was never any doubt in his mind that he would devote his life to the “regeneration of the French race” through the medium of physical exercise. Desbonnet had always been attracted to muscular strength and physical beauty, and thus it was only natural that he would later become one of Europe’s most influential proponents of fitness and exercise.