What Do the Five Olympic Rings Mean?


Quick Answer

The five interlocking Olympic rings symbolize the five inhabited continents that all of the athletes travel from to compete in the Olympic Games. Originally designed by Baron Pierre De Coubertin in 1912, the Olympic flag sporting the rings was first flown at the 1920 games at Antwerp.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Baron de Coubertin was a French historian and the founder of the International Olympic Committee. He was the primary instigator of the modern Olympic movement and the man most responsible for the revival of the Olympic Games in 1896. Coubertin's ring design symbolized the idea of people from all over the world coming together and uniting in the spirit of athletic competition. The colors of the rings are blue, yellow, black, green and red, from left to right. Including the white background, the color scheme allows every flag of the world to be represented by at least one color. The belief that the symbol originated in Ancient Greece is a misunderstanding. In 1984, a sports historian was exploring a Greek archaeological site when he noticed five linked rings etched into a weather-beaten stone. As it turned out, the etching was created in 1936 when the German filmmaker and Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl was documenting the torch ceremony for the Berlin Games. At that time, someone cut the symbol into the stone to create a false relic of the ancient games.

Learn more about Symbolism

Related Questions