A series of international athletic contests held in a different country once every four years is known as the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894 when Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue, and historian, sought to promote international understanding through sporting competitions. The first edition of The Olympic Games was held in Athens in 1896 and attracted just 245 competitors, of whom more than 200 were Greek, and only 14 countries were represented.
Nevertheless, no international events of this magnitude had been organized before. Female athletes were not allowed to compete, though one woman, Stamata Revithi, ran the marathon course on her own, saying “If the committee doesn’t let me compete I will go after them regardless”.
Olympics Symbol or Emblem
It comprises five interlinked rings or circles representing the friendship, unity, and integrity of all people. It symbolizes the five continents i.e. Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Each ring is of different color i.e. blue, yellow, black, green, and red.
The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, and Fortius, which are Latin words meaning Faster, Higher, and Stronger respectively. The motto was proposed by the father of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, who got it from a speech given by his friend, Henri Didon, a Dominican priest and principal of an Academy that used sports as part of its educational program.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Modern Olympics, designed the flag in 1913. The flag has no border and displays five interlocking rings in the center on a plain white background. Each ring is assigned a different color i.e. blue, black, red, yellow, and green. It was thought that these colors were chosen because at least one color can be found in the flag of every continent of the world.
The various rings represent the continents of Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The red ring represents Australia, green Europe, yellow Asia, blue America, and black Africa. All these rings are interlocked which represents brotherhood and cooperation in different continents. The Olympic Flag was first used at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. After the Games are completed, the mayor of the host city presents the mayor of the future host city, the Olympic flag. This flag then remains with the future host city for four years until the opening ceremony of the next Olympic Games.
The Olympics Oath
Baron Pierre de Coubertin wrote the oath. It became part of our modern Olympic Games in 1920. The Olympic officials also have to take an oath. Like the athletes, an official is chosen to hold a corner of the Olympic Flag and repeats a similar oath on behalf of all the officials
At the beginning of each Olympics, every athlete promises to play fairly and obey all of the Olympic rules. An athlete from the host country takes the oath at the Opening Ceremonies on behalf of all the athletes. The chosen athlete holds a corner of the Olympic Flag while repeating the oath. The oath is as follows.
“In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs. in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.”
The Olympic Anthem also known as Olympic Hymn was performed in the first Modern Olympic Games held at Athens Greece in 1896. The Anthem was composed by famous opera composer Spyridon Samaras and the lyrics were given by Greek poet Kostis Palamas. It was declared the Olympic Anthem by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1958 in Tokyo, Japan. In the year 1960, the anthem was performed in English at the Winter Olympic Games. The Olympic Anthem is played during the opening ceremony, closing ceremony, flag hoisting, and flag-lowering procedure at Olympic Games.
The Olympic Flame
The concept of the lighting of the Olympic Flame came from the ancient Greeks. During the Ancient Olympic Games, the sun’s rays were used to light the sacred flame at Olympia. The flame is lit until the games are over. The flame was first introduced in the modern Olympics at the 1928 Games held in Amsterdam. Netherlands: Since then, the flame symbolizes “The light of spirit, knowledge, and life.”
Olympics Torch Relay
The Torch Relay started in the Olympics in 1936 at the Berlin Games. Originally, the torch was lit at Olympia, Greece, and then was carried by a relay to the host city of the games. During the Opening Ceremony. the last runner carries the torch into the Olympic Stadium. The flame is then lit by the torch and stays lit until it is extinguished in the Closing Ceremony. The torch relay symbolizes Olympic traditions being passed from one generation to the next. Sarkari Focus
The first relay took place during the 1936 Berlin Games. 3,331 runners brought the flame through Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. Similar relays are organized for every Summer Games.
The Olympics Creed is also known as the Olympic Message. It has appeared on the scoreboard of every modern Olympic Games during the Opening Ceremony. It states the following:
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, Just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well.”
Like the ancient Greeks athlete who won an olive wreath, modern Olympic winners also receive a Diploma with a gold medal as a first-place prize. A Diploma with a silver medal is awarded for second prize and a Diploma with a bronze medal for third prize. At the Awards Ceremony, the three medal winners stand on platforms as their medals are placed around their necks. The national anthem of the gold medallist’s country is played, or the Olympic hymn may be played.