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The Olympic Rings and Flag

The Olympic rings are one of the most recognized symbols worldwide. They are much more than a simple logo; they are a powerful symbol of unity, diversity, and the enduring spirit of the Olympic Games. Representing the interconnectedness of continents and the inclusive nature of the Olympics, the rings stand as a testament to the values of international cooperation, cultural diversity, and the pursuit of excellence.

Olympic rings at PortlandOlympic rings at sunset


The design of the official Olympic flag, which is five interconnected rings on a white background, was created Pierre de Coubertin in 1914. The colors are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black, green, and red. It was first flown at the Antwerp Olympic stadium in 1920.


The five Olympic rings represent the five major regions of the world – Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania, and are interconnected to symbolize the friendship to be gained from these international competitions. The colors were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country in the world.


At the closing ceremony of the Games, the mayor of the current host city presents the flag to the mayor of the next host city. The original Olympic Flag that was first unveiled at Antwerp in 1920 was finally retired after the 1984 Games at Los Angeles, and a new flag was flown at the 1988 Seoul Games.

Educational Values

In 2006, IOC identified five educational values of Olympism.


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Olympics Extra

The next Olympics will be in Paris 2024, followed by the Winter edition in Milan-Cortina 2026. Check out the list of Olympic Games sports, as well as discontinued and demonstration sports.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

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