What do the Olympic rings symbolize?

What is the connection between the emblem of the Olympics and the English alphabet? It would seem no. Meanwhile, the arrangement of the rings corresponds to the English letter W (that is, World, the whole world, the planet) - because the Olympic rings symbolize precisely the worldwide, planet-wide celebration of sports.

The meaning is hidden and explicit

Olympics! How many associations this word evokes. Sports, peace, friendship, competitions, medals, a podium... But first of all, a flag with the image of five multi-colored rings pops up before our eyes. They are arranged in a certain sequence: the top row is occupied by blue, black, red, and the bottom row is occupied by yellow and green. The rings are intertwined, make up a single whole.

Why exactly five rings? Their number coincides with the number of continents on the planet. The Arctic and Antarctica are not represented, they are still being mastered by man.

It is generally accepted that the colors of the Olympic rings symbolize each - “its own” continent:

  • red is given to America (apparently, in honor of the red-skinned Indians);
  • black went to Africa;
  • cool Europe is associated with blue;
  • sunny Asia took yellow;
  • Continent green, Australia, indicated in green.

Whether this is what Pierre de Coubertin, the organizer of the revival of the Olympic Games, had in mind when he came up with their symbol, has remained a mystery. Why are these colors preferred? Heraldry specialists will notice that the choice is by no means accidental. Let it be one color, but it is present on the state flag of any country. For the sake of curiosity, you can check. The Russian flag is no exception. It features 3 colors of the Olympic flag: white, blue, red.

From time to time, new versions of the interpretation of Olympic symbols appear. It is believed that the philosopher and psychologist from Switzerland Carl Gustav Jung was involved in the creation of the emblem. Its idea is based on the mythology of the Chinese people, which tells about the unity of the five elements. In China, each of the natural elements has its own kind of sport:

  • swimming - Water;
  • running - to the Earth;
  • jumping - Air;
  • shooting - to Fire;
  • fencing - to Metal.

And the number five is pentathlon, the classic pentathlon. At the dawn of the Games, it was believed that an Olympian should be the best not in one sport, but in several.

Like everything legendary, the amazing emblem attracts with its mystery, and it is possible that the world will learn a lot more interesting things about it.

It is safe to say that the five Olympic rings symbolize:

  • equal rights of countries and athletes (all rings are the same size);
  • friendship of peoples (they are intertwined);
  • a world sporting event (the same W that started this story).

The rings are older than the flag

The flag is the shrine of the participants in the Olympic movement. A cloth of white silk with embroidered multi-colored rings unites athletes from all over the planet, it is solemnly carried out at the opening ceremony of the Games.

But the rings appeared before the flag. The symbol "Olympic rings" was approved by the IOC in 1913, the emblem debuted in 1914 in Belgium. World War I thundered - and in 1920 an Olympic banner decorated with rings flew over the Antwerp stadium: the 7th Summer Olympic Games started. Since then, the flag has been flying over the sports facilities from the opening day of the next Olympics until its completion. In 1988, the first flag was replaced with a new one, and the "patriarch" is kept in the Swiss Museum of the Olympic Games.

The Olympic Rings symbol is protected by law. The Olympic Charter, adopted in 1894 by the International Sports Congress, prohibits:

  1. Changing the colors of the rings.
  2. Move rings from one row to another.
  3. Use the symbol as a commodity in commercial transactions (with permission from the IOC only).

This is interesting

  • The Paralympics does not use the Olympic Rings symbol.
  • In 2014, at the Sochi Olympics, at the opening ceremony, there was a technical failure: one of the giant snowflakes did not open and did not turn into a ring. The viewers did not notice this - they broadcast a picture from the rehearsal. At the closing ceremony, the snowflake "did not open up" again - this time in the interpretation of the participants of the mass ballet. Having hesitated for about five seconds, the live "snowflake" (to the laughter of the audience) swiftly turned into a ring. So an unfortunate mistake of technology endowed Sochi with its own version of the symbol - with one unopened ring.