Olympic Symbols

The Olympic symbols comprise icons, flags, and symbols utilized by the International Olympic Committee for the Olympic Games.

The Olympic motto is Citius, Aitius, Fortius, which in Latin, means Faster, Higher, Stronger. This motto was first introduced during the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894.

The Olympic games is also known for its symbol consisting of five interlocking rings. The rings come in five colors: blue, yellow, black, green, and red with a white background. The original design was made by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1912; the rings were assumed to represent the five continents: Africa, Asia, America, Australia, and Europe.

The first official of debut of the rings happened at the Games of the VII Olympiad in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920. From then on, the symbol became more popular during the lead-up to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. During the 1936 Summer Olympics, the president of the Organizing Committee, Carl Diem ordered the construction of a milestone with engravements of the five Olympic ring symbol. This structure started the myth that the Olympic rings have Greek origins.

In 1914, the Olympic flag was created by Pierre de Coubertin. Meanwhile, cities hosting the next Olympic games display their own specific Olympic flags. During the Olympic closing or Antwerp ceremony, the Olympic flag is passed from the mayor of the host city to that of the next. The flags passed on during closing ceremonies differ from the larger ones designed for specific games.

The first Olympic flag is called the Antwerp flag, which was first used at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. The flag was found missing after that event. Thus, another one was made for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. The second flag was still called the Antwerp flag though it was created in Paris. It was passed to different host cities until the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway, when a specific flag was used for the Winter Olympics. The second Antwerp flag was retired in 1988 in Seoul, Korea.

Interestingly, the original flag was returned by Hal Haig Prieste, who stole the flag at the end of the Antwerp Olympics.

The Oslo flag was first used in the 1952 Winter Olympics and was subsequently passed on to host cities for the Winter Olympics.

On the other hand, the Seoul flag succeeded the Antwerp Flag in 1988. The Seoul Flag was succeeded by the Rio flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Olympics is also known for its flame-and-torch-relay ceremony. The modern tradition was first introduced in the Berlin Games in 1936. After flaming the torch using the sun rays concentrated by a parabolic reflector, it is taken out of Greece and taken around where the Olympic games are held. The torch has been carried by a number of people, including athletes, leaders, and celebrities, and other unusual conditions.