The Symbols of the Olympic Games
The Olympic Rings are five interlocking rings that stand for the five original continents, (Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe) and the athletes from around the world.
The colours of the rings are blue, yellow, black, green, and red respectively. They were chosen because at least one of these colours is found on the flag of every nation.
On the Olympic flag, the rings appear on a white background.
At the Olympic Games, the flag is brought into the stadium during the opening ceremony. After its arrival, the flag is hoisted up the flagpole. It must fly in the stadium during the whole of the Games. When the flag is lowered at the closing ceremony, it signals the end of the Games.
The motto of the Olympic Games is "Swifter, Higher, Stronger". These three words encourage the athlete to give his or her best during competition, and to view this effort as a victory in itself.
To better understand the motto, we can compare it with the following well-known phrase:
The most important thing is not to win but to take part!
The Olympic flame is one of the best-known features of the Games.
From the moment the flame is lit to the moment it goes out, a very precise ritual is laid down :
In memory of the Olympic Games’ 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 relay route
The torch is carried by relay from Olympia to the host city of the Games.
Arrival at the stadium
The day of the opening of the Games, the flame enters the stadium. With the lighting of the cauldron by the last relay runner the flame is transferred from the torch to the place where it will continue to burn for the entire length of the Games. The flame is extinguished on the final day of the Games at the closing ceremony.