About The Olympic

History

The first Olympic Games for which we still have written records were held in 776 BC.  It is believed that the Games had been going on many years before that.  The ancient Olympic Games were celebrated in the summer every four years in the sanctuary of the god Zeus at Olympia.  Early events included foot races, wrestling, boxing, horse racing, discus, javelin, and long jumping.  The ancient Olympic Games reached the height of their popularity in the 5th and 4th centuries BC.  In about 393 AD the Roman Emperor Thoedosius I suppressed them.  The Olympic Games were revived in the late 1800's by a young Frenchmen named Pierre De Coubertin. The First Winter Olympics were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France.

Olympic Flag and Rings

olympic_rings
 
The White Olympic Flag has two rows of brightly colored rings in the middle.  The upper row has three rings - Blue, Black, and Red - and the lower row has two rings of yellow and green.  the rings symbolize five continents - Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and America.  Every Country's Flag contains at least one of the five colors of the rings.

Olympic Medals

Each host city is allowed to add special details to the front of the medal and create a unique design for the back of the medal.  In the Ancient Olympics, no medals were awarded.  The first place winner was given a crown of olive leaves to wear on his head.  Second and third place winners received nothing.  when the Modern Games were revived in 1896, first place winners received silver medals.  Strangely, gold was considered inferior to silver.  Eight years later, at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, gold replaced silver for first place.  Today's "gold" medals are actually sterling silver covered with a thin coat of pure gold. 
Gold is awarded for first place.
Silver is awarded for second place.
Bronze is awarded for third place.

Olympic Motto

"Citius, Altius, Fortius" is a latin pharse meaning "Swifter, Higher, Stronger".

The Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch is a tradition continued from the Ancient Olympic Games.  In ancient Olympia (Greece), a flame was ignited by the sun and then kept burning until the close of the Games.  In the Modern Olympic Games a torch first appeared at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.  The flame itself represents purity, the pursuit of perfection and the struggle for victory.  It also represents peace and friendship.  Today the Olympic Flame is kept alive in Greece.  Prior to the start of the Olympic Games, a torch is lit from the Olympic Flame and travels around the world through many countries and continents.  Torch bearers are selected throughout the flame's path.  Each torch bearer runs and then passes the flame onto the next torch bearer.  The flame ends up at the host country and makes it's way to the Olympic Stadium where the Olympic Torch is lit at the Opening Ceremonies of the Games.  It is an honor to be selected to be a torch bearer.  The person selected to light the Olympic Torch at Opening Ceremonies is a special athlete from the host country.

The Olympic Creed

"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."