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Olympic spirit


In the Olympic open, you can hear : " In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules and govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams".

The ancient Greeks held sporting contest over 2,000 years ago. In 1896, a French- man called Baron Pierre de Coubertin prompted the revival of the Olympic Games. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in honor of their origin. Since then they have been held very four years, except in wartime.

The Olympic flag:

The Olympic flag has a plain white background with no border. In the center are five rings forming two rows of three rings above and two below. The rings of the upper row are, from left to right, blue, black and red. The rings of the lower row are yellow and green. The rings are thought to symbolize the five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America.

Olympic flame:

The Olympic flame is a symbol carried over from the ancient Olympics, where a sacred flame burned at the altar of Zeus throughout competition. It was finally reintroduced at the 1924 Amsterdam Games and again burned in 1932

Carl Diem, chairman of the organizing committee for the 1936 Berlin Games, proposed that the flame be lit in Greece and transported to Berlin via a torch relay. The idea was adopted, and continued at every Olympic Games since 1952

The flame is lit at the ancient site of Olympia by the natural rays of the sun reflected off a curved mirror. It is lit at a ceremony by women dressed in robes resembling those worn in ancient times, who then pass it to the first relay runner.


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 have fought well"

There have been many permutations of this basic message throughout Games history, through this is the current creed which appears on the scoreboard during the Opening Ceremony. Baron de Coubertin adopted, and later quoted, this creed after hearing the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, Ethelbert Talbot, speak at a service for Olympic athletes during the 1908 London Games.

IN London for the fifth Conference of Anglican Bishops, Talbot's exact words at the service on July 19, 1908 were:" The important thing in these Olympics is not so much winning as taking part."

What are the paralympics ?

In 1960, in Rome, Italy, the first Paralympics were held. These are Olympic Games for athletes with disabilities. They are now held after each Olympic Games, often on the same site, and give disabled athletes from all over the world an opportunity to compete against each other. Athletes at the Paralympics train just as hard as their Olympic colleagues. Wheel-chairs are specially built for various sports.