The Olympics

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Olympic Symbols

The Olympic Games offer observers exciting events, pageantry, and historic moments. There are several symbols that most people immediately connect with the Olympic Games. A torch, a collection of rings, and a song are just a few of the symbols connected with the Olympic Games. Though most of these symbols are familiar, some people may not know what they represent. The following looks at the history of some Olympic symbols as well as the meanings behind them.

The design of five rings is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Olympic Games. Each ring has its own color. The colors of the rings are blue, yellow, black, green, and red. All of the rings are locked together with three rings on top and two below. Also, the rings are set against a white background. This Olympic symbol dates back to 1912 when it was created by a man named Pierre de Coubertin. The symbol represents the five continents of the world with athletes participating in the exciting competitions of the Olympic Games.

Another familiar symbol of the Olympic Games is the torch. The journey of the Olympic torch is a long-standing tradition of the Olympic Games dating back to the Berlin Games in 1936. The journey of the torch begins in Olympia, Greece where the ancient Olympic Games took place. The torch is passed along on to various athletes and notable individuals as it makes its way to the location of the latest Olympic Games. When the Olympic torch arrives at its destination, the final torch bearer lights a tremendous cauldron to signal the start of the Olympic Games.  

The musical theme belonging to the Olympic Games is a familiar tune to many people. A man named Spyridon Samaras composed the Olympic Hymn in the late nineteenth century. The Olympic Hymn is played when the Olympic flag is raised during the Games. The Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time at the 1896 Athens Olympic Games. Though various composers have put their own stamp on the sound of the Olympic Hymn, it has been a significant part of the pageantry of the Olympic Games for over 100 years.

Finally, the medals are especially well-known symbols of the Olympic Games. There is a gold, silver, and bronze medal for athletes who finish an event in first, second, and third place, respectively. In 1928, the Olympic medals had the figure of Nike (the goddess of victory) emblazoned on one side. She held a winner’s crown in one of her hands. At the beginning of the 21st century, Olympic medals began to picture Nike in a pose that represents the renewal of the Games. The other side of an Olympic medal bears a tribute to the city hosting the Olympic Games during a particular year. This makes each collection of Olympic medals even more unique.

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