Symbols of the Olympics

| 02/04/2016 | 0 Comments More
Olympic Rings

Olympic Rings

There are a number of symbols associated with the Olympics.  Including the rings, the motto and the flame.  These symbols give the Olympics an identity and are very familiar to people across the world.

The Olympic Rings:

In 1913, Baron Pierre de Coubertin came up with the idea for the symbol most associated with the Olympics, the Olympic Rings.  The five rings represent the five continents (Antarctica is excluded and North/South America are considered one).

The connection of the rings symbolises the connection of the continents and the coming together of athletes from all over the world during the Games and the ideal of peace and brotherhood of the whole planet.

The Olympic Flag:

The most commonly known symbol, the rings are the symbol used for the Olympic flag, The flag shows the intertwined Olympic rings in the different colours (Blue, Yellow, Black, Green & Red) shown on a white background.  These six colours represent universality, for every country’s national flag has at least one of these colours.

The flag was first flown at the 1920 Olympic Games in Belgium and ever since the 1972 Munich Games, the flag has been carried into the stadium by athletes and then hoisted on a flag pole.  The flag is then lowered at the end of the Games closing ceremony, marking the end of the Games.  At this point the flag is passed onto the next host nation.  The original flag was used until 1984, when Seoul presented a new flag made of Korean Silk to the IOC.

The Olympic Flame:

The ancient Greeks believed that fire was stolen from Mount Olympus, the home of the Gods, and given to mankind by Prometheus, and they considered fire to have sacred qualities.  Eternal flames burned in front of the Greek temples, and the Olympic torch was lit months before the start of the Games.

A flame was lit at a modern Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928.  It was kindled on site and remained lit throughout the Games.  This was repeated 1932 at the Los Angeles Games, but in 1936 a flame was borne directly from Olympia, Greece and was then carried by a team of relay runners to Berlin in what has become an Olympic tradition.

The Olympic Motto:

The motto of the Olympic Games is ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius.’  Latin for ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’

The motto was proposed on the creation of the IOC by Pierre de Coubertin, who had heard it used by a friend Henri Didon, a Dominican priest.  The motto was first used in 1924 at the Games in Paris.


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Category: Olympics

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