The Olympic Games are among the most anticipated and rated sporting events in the world. Their main attribute is easily recognizable - five multi-colored rings. How did it come about? What do the Olympic rings mean?
We can investigate this issue in the following main aspects:
So, how did the five Olympic rings appear?
The history of the appearance of the Olympic rings
The considered symbol of the Games first became known to the general sports community in 1920. Since then, he has invariably accompanied every Winter or Summer Olympics. Officially, the rings are used as an element of the flag, based on a white cloth, which has long been associated with the denial of war and peace. As you know, in ancient Greece, during the Olympic Games, which became the direct prototype of modern ones, all hostilities between the warring policies (whose representatives then conducted peace negotiations in Olympia) ceased.
The idea of complementing the white flag associated with the world with multi-colored rings belongs to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the very man who invented in the late 19th century to hold world competitions, the history of which dates back to ancient times. In 1913, the craftsmen of the Bon Marche atelier, located in Paris, made the first example of the Olympic flag. It was presented to the public in 1914 at the Sorbonne during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Olympic movement revived by Pierre de Coubertin.
The original plan was to use the five-ring flag at the 1916 Games. But by that time, the First World War had broken out, as a result of which it was impossible to hold competitions. However, already at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, the new symbols were presented as official.
The interlacing of five colored rings is a concept invented by Pierre de Coubertin, according to some sources, influenced by the attributes of the Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques, USFSA, headed by the famous figure himself. The fact is that the emblem of this institution consisted of two rings (red and blue), which were brought together.
It can be noted that the USFSA emblem was part of the logo structure of the French International Committee (Le Comité français interfédéral, CFI), which later became the French Football Federation. Below is an example of placing the corresponding element on the clothing of athletes.
The USFSA symbolism denoted the formation of the Union by two separate associations active in France - the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Course a Pied and the Committee for the development of physical education (Comité pour la Propagation des Exercises Physiques).
At the same time, one-color performance of the Olympic rings is practiced quite often: for example, in the manufacture of souvenirs, layout of various thematic bulletins and the media. At the same time, the IOC has no public objections to such formats for using the main attribute of the Games. According to sports historians and experts, this may indicate the adherence of this organization to the idea of unity, equality of world nations, regardless of the likely interpretations of the meaning of flowers in the Olympic rings..