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FAMOUS SYMBOLS OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

V. Ryan © 2004

 

THE OLYMPIC RINGS

When watching the Olympics it is virtually impossible not to notice the official logo. This is composed of five interlocking rings coloured - blue, yellow, black, green and red. The colours were chosen by the logo’s original designer, Pierre de Coubertin, in 1913. The colours are very important because each of the countries forming the Olympic Family has one of these colours as part of their national flag, including the white background. They symbolise the five continents of Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania
The Olympic Rings are recognised throughout the world and consequently it is used by companies sponsoring the Olympic Games. When it is an Olympic Year, companies will pay a high price to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be able to use the logo / symbol on their products. It is one of the worlds most recognisable symbols / logos

THE OLYMPIC TORCH

Another recognisable logo / symbol is the Olympic torch. The opening ceremony of the games always includes a runner carrying a torch to a prominent part of the stadium where it is used to light the Olympic Flame. This flame is kept alight for the entire length of the games. Originally, the ancient Greeks lit the Olympic Flame directly from the suns rays at Olympia.

THE OLIVE WREATH

Another important symbol is the Olive Wreath (also called ‘kotinos'). This is a branch of olive tree formed into a circle. This was the ancient award for Olympic champions. You may think that a branch of a tree was a ‘cheap’ award, however, the olive tree was sacred to ancient Greeks.

   

 

   

THE MEDALS

The medals awarded to first, second and third place are a major feature of the Olympics. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded.
Each medal is a minimum of 60mm in diameter and must be at least 3mm thick. The gold and silver medals must be composed of at least 92.5 percent pure silver and at least six grams of gold.
The design of the medals normally reflects the Greek origin of the games. Since 1928 the Goddess Nike is shown holding an ear of corn in one hand and in the other a wreath. This scene can be seen on the medal designed for the Olympics in Athens(2004).

   

QUESTIONS:

1. Make a list of new awards that  athletes could at the next Olympics. For example, a golden javelin - to represent the winner of the javelin throwing competition OR a golden running shoe for the winner of the 100 metres sprint.

2. Draw one of the new awards - use colour and shade. Add notes that explains your thinking behind the design.

   
 
   

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