"Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles."
Brief History of the Olympics
It was Pierre de Coubertin of France who dreamt up this ambitious project, although others before him had tried to revive these Games during the 19th century, without having Coubertin’s success. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Olympic Games, he decided to create the modern Olympic Games. With this purpose, he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 in Paris. The new committee set itself the objective of organising the first Olympic Games of modern times. The date of the first Games, 1896, marked the beginning of an extraordinary adventure that has now lasted for over a century!
The Five Olympic Rings
The five rings represent the five continents. They are interlaced to show the universality of Olympism and the meeting of the athletes of the world during the Olympic Games. On the Olympic flag, the rings appear on a white background. Combined in this way, the six colours of the flag (blue, yellow, black, green, red and white) represent all nations. It is a misconception, therefore, to believe that each of the colours corresponds to a certain continent.
The Olympic Motto
CITIUS - ALTIUS - FORTIUS
FASTER - HIGHER - STRONGER
These three words encourage the athletes to give their best during competition.
The Olympic Creed
The most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight;
the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.
Together, the Olympic motto and the creed represent an ideal that Coubertin believed in and promoted as an important life lesson that could be gained from participation in sport and the Olympic Games: that giving one’s best and striving for personal excellence was a worthwhile goal. It is a lesson that can still be applied equally today, not just to athletes but to each one of us.
The Olympic Torch
§ The lighting
In memory of the modern Olympic Games’ ancient origins, the flame is lit in Olympia (Greece) some months before the opening of the Games. The Olympic flame can only be lit by the sun’s rays.
§ The torch
A new torch is created for each edition of the Games. Each relay runner carries his or her own torch: it is the flame which is passed from runner to runner and which cannot be extinguished.
§ The relay route
Carried by relay from Olympia to the host city of the Games, the flame crosses different regions, countries and continents. The passage of the flame announces the upcoming Olympic Games to the inhabitants along the route and allows those following its journey to discover new cultures and customs.
The Three Olympic Core Values
To give one’s best, on the field of play or in life. It is not only about winning, but also about participating, making progress against personal goals, striving to be and to do our best in our daily lives.
To build a peaceful and better world thanks to sport, through solidarity, team spirit, joy and optimism. To consider sport as a tool for mutual understanding among individuals and people from all over the world despite the differences.
To respect oneself, one’s body, to respect others, as well as rules and regulations, to respect the environment. In relation to sport, respect stands for fair play and for the fight against doping or any other unethical behaviour.
These three core values are conveyed through the Olympic symbols.
§ The motto embodies excellence by encouraging athletes to strive to do their best
§ The flame symbolises friendship between peoples with the torch relay usually traveling through different countries in the world.
§ The rings represent respect, bringing all nations and all five continents together without discrimination. The principles shown are universality and humanism.
Information extracted from www.olympic.org, Official Website of the Olympic Movement