How much do you know about the symbols and traditions of the Olympic Games?



9 Questions

What do the five rings on the Olympic flag represent?

What is the traditional Olympic motto and what does it mean?

When was the word 'together' added to the Olympic motto and what is the new version of the motto?

What is the Olympic creed and where was it borrowed from?

What is the history behind the olive wreath and when was it introduced?

What is the Olympic salute and why has it fallen out of use?

What is the purpose of the Olympic mascot and when was it introduced?

What is the IOC's stance on the usage of Olympic symbols and trademarks?

What is the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 and what does it restrict?


Symbols of the International Olympic Games

  • The Olympic flag was created in 1913 and was first hoisted in Alexandria, Egypt, at the 1914 Pan-Egyptian Games.

  • The five rings on the flag represent the inhabited continents of the world and were made to contain the colours (blue, black, red, yellow, and green) which are common to almost all flags around the world.

  • The traditional Olympic motto is the hendiatris Citius, Altius, Fortius which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger".

  • The Olympic ideals are expressed in the Olympic creed, which was borrowed from a sermon by the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, Ethelbert Talbot, during the 1908 London Games.

  • In 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the addition of the word "together", after an en dash, to the motto; it now reads "Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter".

  • The Olympic rings were created in 1913 by Pierre de Coubertin and were intended to represent the five inhabited continents: Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

  • The rings' popularity and widespread use began during the lead-up to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

  • There are specific Olympic flags that are displayed by cities that will be hosting the next Olympic games.

  • During each Olympic closing ceremony in what is traditionally known as the Antwerp Ceremony, the flag is passed from the mayor of one host city to the next host.

  • The modern tradition of moving the Olympic flame via a relay system from Greece to the Olympic venue began with the Berlin Games in 1936.

  • The Olympic medals awarded to winners are made of gold-plated silver – for the gold medals – silver, or bronze, and are awarded to the top three finishers in a particular event.

  • The "Olympic Hymn", officially known as the "Olympic Anthem", is played when the Olympic flag is raised.The History and Traditions of the Olympic Games

  • In ancient Olympic Games, there were no medals; only one winner per event was crowned with an olive wreath made of wild olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia.

  • The olive wreath was introduced by Heracles.

  • The kotinos tradition was renewed specifically for the Athens 2004 Games, and it was bestowed together with the gold medal.

  • The Olympic salute is a variant of the Roman salute, with the right arm and hand stretched and pointing upward, the palm outward and downward, with the fingers touching.

  • The Olympic salute has fallen out of use since World War II because of its resemblance to the Nazi salute.

  • Since the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, the Olympic Games have had a mascot, usually an animal native to the area or occasionally human figures representing the cultural heritage.

  • The Olympic movement is very protective of its symbols and has exclusive trademark rights to any interlocking arrangement of five rings and usage of the word "Olympic."

  • The IOC has taken action against numerous groups alleged to have violated their trademarks, including the Gay Games, the Minneapolis-based band The Hopefuls, and Awana Clubs International.

  • The IOC maintains exclusive ownership and control of the use of Olympic Symbols through an international treaty, the Nairobi Treaty, and the IOC's demand for the enactment of laws in hosting locations to grant special trademark protection to Olympic Symbols.

  • In recent years, organizing committees have demanded the passing of laws to combat ambush marketing by non-official sponsors during the Games.

  • The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 put heavy restrictions on using any term or imagery that could constitute an unauthorized association with the games, including mere mentioning of the host city, the year, and others.

  • The Olympic Games have evolved over time, but the core values of excellence, respect, and friendship remain the same.


Test your knowledge on the symbols and traditions of the International Olympic Games with this quiz! From the meaning behind the five Olympic rings to the evolution of the Olympic medals, this quiz covers it all. See how much you know about the history and significance of the Olympic Games and its iconic symbols. Perfect for sports enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone who loves the spirit of international competition.

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