The revival work of the Modern Olympic Games was undertaken by Baron Pierre de Coubertin nearly 1,500 years after the last of the ancient Games. He was born into a family of Italian origin which had settled in France. It was on November 25, 1892, during a conference at Sorbonne about the history of physical exercises, that the first pronounced those famous six words in public “The Restoration of the Olympic Games” He said that the Games would ennoble and strengthen amateur sports to give them strength and lasting quality for an essential role in the world of modern education.
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Olympic Symbol: It comprises five rings or circles, linked together to represent the sporting friendship of all people. The rings also symbolise the continents- Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America. Each ring is of a different colour i.e. blue, yellow, black, green and red. The rings are meant to represent five continents viz., Africa (black), America (red), Asia (yellow), Australia (green) and Europe (Blue).
Olympic Flag: The Olympic flag, created in 1913 at the suggestion of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was solemnly inaugurated in Paris in June 1914 but it was raised over an Olympic stadium for the first time at the Antwerp used for the Winter Games. These flags are made of white silk and contain above mentioned five intertwined rings. From left to right the rings are blue, yellow, black, green and red.
Olympic Flame (Torch): It was at the Amsterdam Games in 1928 that for the first time an Olympic flame was ceremonially lighted and burned in a giant torch at the entrance of the stadium. The modern version of the flame was adopted in 1936 at the Berlin Games. The Olympic flame symbolises the continuity between the ancient and modern games.
The torch used to kindle the flame, is first lit by the sun’s rays at Olympia, Greece, and then carried to the site of the Games by the relay of runners. Ships and planes are used when necessary. On July 15, 1976, space age technology was used to transport the flame from one continent to another.
Olympic Motto: The Olympic motto is “Citius-Altius-Fortius” (faster, higher, and stronger). Rev. Father Didon (1840-1900), headmaster of a school near Paris and a great promoter of sports in the French Catholic colleges first used the motto and had it embroidered on the pennants of his school clubs.
This succinct definition of the philosophy of sport appealed to father Dion’s friend, Baron Pierre de Coubertin who was responsible for the revival of the Olympic Games nearly 1,500 years after the last of the ancient Games. It was adopted at his suggestion at the International congress for the “Study and Propagation of the Principles of Amateurism” on June 23, 1894, the same day on which the restoration of the Olympic Games and the creation of the International Olympic Committee were also decided.
Olympic Prizes, Medals and Certificates: While in ancient times the Olympic heroes received a crown of olive branches for their exploits, modern Olympics Champions are rewarded with medals and certificates. The winning athlete now receives a Gold medal, the athlete in the second place is awarded a silver medal and the third placed athlete in the second place is awarded a Silver medal and the third placed athlete wins a Bronze medal.
opoIn addition, all athletes ranking from first to sixth receive a certificate. Each medal is 60 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick. The first and second place medals are made of 92.5 percent silver and the medals for the first winner are then plated with 6 gram of fine gold. Thus this medal is not full gold. The third place medal is of bronze.
Olympic Mascot: It was introduced in 1972 at the 20th Olympics Games held at Munich and since then an Olympic Mascot is selected for a particular year and venue.