What do the Olympic rings mean?

The colours of the interlinked Olympic rings were chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) , to represent the union of the 5 continents , Australia , Africa , America , Asia and Europe and further signify the meeting of the worlds athletes at the Olympic Games.

The plain white background of the Olympic flag is symbolic of peace throughout the games .

The five colours of the rings from left to right are blue, black and red across the top with yellow and green along the bottom , these colours may be found on most flags of the world and officially hold no other particular significance , although some believe each colour represents a particular continent

Blue =Europe

Yellow =Asia

Black =Africa

Green =Australia

Red =America
The Olympic rings are the official trademark of the I.O.C. 

 What is the Olympic creed?

The Olympic creed was first stated in 1896 by the founder of the modern Olympic games , Baron Pierre de Coubertin , the words of the creed are as follows;

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

What is the Olympic motto?

The Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" is Latin literally meaning "Faster, Higher, Braver," However the universally accepted meaning is "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."

 What is the Olympic oath?

One athlete from the games host country takes an oath at the Opening Ceremony on behalf of all the competing athletes . The Olympic oath is a gesture of sportsmanship that was first given at the 1920 Olympic Games.

The words of the Olympic oath are ;

"In the name of all competitors , I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."

A similar oath is also taken by a coach or team official at each Games.

The Olympic flame and torch

The Olympic flame is one of the most visible symbols of the modern games , it is a tradition from ancient Greece

During the ancient Games, in Olympia, a sacred flame ignited by the sun burned continually on the altar of the goddess, Hera.

The modern Olympic flame was first seen in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics where it burned constantly throughout the games

The Olympic flame symbolises purity , the endeavour for perfection and the struggle for victory, it also represents peace and friendship.

The tradition of the Modern Olympic Torch began in 1936 at the Berlin Games , to represent a link between the ancient and modern Olympics , and has since remained as an Olympic custom.

The torch is lit as it was in ancient times by the sun at Olympia, Greece and then passed from runner to runner in a relay to the host city. There it is used to light a flame in a cauldron at the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The flame burns continuously throughout the Games and is extinguished at the Closing Ceremony. 

Opening ceremony

Order of Events:

 Parade of Nations - Greece first, host city last, others in alphabetical order.

Speeches by the President of the Organising Committee and the President of the International Olympic Committee.

Head of State officially declares the Games open.

Olympic Flag is raised as the Olympic Hymn is played.

Olympic Torch is used to light the Olympic flame.

Doves are released as a symbol of peace.

Olympic Oath is taken by an athlete and an official.

Cultural entertainment is provided by the Organising Committee of the host city.


 Closing Parade



Olympic athletes are not separated into national teams as they enter the stadium, to symbolise the unity nand friendship of the Games.

3 flags are raised to the National Anthems - Greece, host country and next host country.

Olympic Flag passed to the Mayor of the next host city.

President of the International Olympic Committee pronounces the Games closed.

Olympic Flame is extinguished.

Olympic Flag is lowered as the Olympic Hymn is played.

Cultural entertainment is provided by the Organising Committee of the host city.


Closing statement

The president of the IOC pronounces the Games closed with the following statement:

 "I declare the Games of the________(current) Olympiad closed, and in accordance with tradition, I call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now at ____________(the site of the next Olympics), to celebrate with us there the Games of the_______ (next) Olympiad."


The Victory Ceremony

At the Ancient Games, winners were presented with a simple olive tree branch which was cut with a gold-handled knife from a wild olive tree. The Greeks believed that the vitality of the sacred tree was transmitted to the recipient through the branch.

At the Modern Games, Olympic medals are presented to the winning athletes who stand on a dais at the completion of their event. A GOLD medal is presented for first place, SILVER for second and BRONZE for third. The host city is responsible for designing the medals within the guidelines set by the IOC.

 The national anthem of the winner is played as each medallist's national flag is raised.







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