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Meaning of the Olympic rings, the main symbol of the Olympic Games

Olympic rings

The Olympic rings symbolize the continents united by sport. The five rings intertwined in a flag with a white background were created in 1914.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, creator of the Modern Olympic Games, was commissioned to create these hoops, which are the Olympic symbol.

In order to represent the union of countries, they stress the importance of respecting the differences that may exist between each of them.

This would serve as a mechanism to fight against the rivalry experienced at the time, a feeling born at the end of the first war, and which was based on the desire for states to be strong and centralizing.

Thus, the rings of the Olympic Games were used for the first time in 1920, during the seventh edition of the Olympic Games of the Modern Era, which took place in Antwerp. In 1916, the Olympic Games had been interrupted at the expense of the First World War.

In addition to being the main symbol of the Olympic Games, the Olympic arches are also the symbol of the IOC - International Olympic Committee.


The rings represent the continents. Each with a color, the colors of the Olympic rings correspond to the color that appears most frequently in the flags of the countries belonging to the respective continents:

  • Green: Oceania
  • Yellow: Asia
  • red: America
  • black: Africa
  • Blue: Europe

Learn more about the symbols of the Olympic Games.

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