Olympic Facts

The following information comes from TeamUSA.org:

Olympic Rings:

Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, designed the Olympic Rings as a symbol to encourage world unity. The five rings represent the five continents, however the colours do not correspond to specific continents. The rings are interlaced to show the universtiy of Olympism and the meeting of the athletes of the world during the Olympic Games.

Coubertin first presented the rings in a flag in June 1914 in Paris at the Olympic Congress. Due to the First World War, the flag and its five rings were not displayed in an Olympic stadium until 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Medals:

The medals – gold, silver, and bronze – represent the highest levels of athletic achievement at the Games. The design of the medal varies with each Olympic Games and they are the responsibility of the host city’s organizing committee. Olympic medals must be at least 60 millimeters in diameter and at least three millimeters thick. Gold and silver medals must be made of 92.5 percent pure silver; the gold medal must be gilded with at least six grams of gold.

Torch & Flame:

One of the most enduring symbols of the Olympic Games is the Olympic flame. The flame made its first appearance at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and since then the lighting of the flame has become a major focal point of every Opening Ceremonies. The concept of lighting a flame for the duration of the Games comes from the ancient Greeks, who used a flame lit by the sun’s rays at Olympia – the site of the original Olympic Games.

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