The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe). The coloured version of the rings – blue, yellow, black, green, and red – over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colours were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag. The flag was adopted in 1914 but flown for the first time only at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It has since been hoisted during each celebration of the Games.
The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, a Latin expression meaning "Faster, Higher, Stronger". Coubertin's ideals are further expressed in the 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 to have fought well.
Months before each Games, the Olympic flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals. A female performer, acting as a priestess, ignites a torch by placing it inside a parabolic mirror which focuses the sun's rays; she then lights the torch of the first relay bearer, thus initiating the Olympic torch relay that will carry the flame to the host city's Olympic stadium, where it plays an important role in the opening ceremony. Though the flame has been an Olympic symbol since 1928, the torch relay was introduced at the 1936 Summer Games.
The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country, was introduced in 1968. It has played an important part on the Games identity promotion since the 1980 Summer Olympics, when the Russian bear cub Misha reached international stardom.
The Olympic medals awarded to winners are another symbol associated with the Olympic games. The medals are made of gold-plated silver (commonly described as gold medals), silver, or bronze, and awarded to the top 3 finishers in a particular event. Each medal for an Olympiad has a common design, decided upon by the organizers for the particular games. From 1928 until 2000, the obverse side of the medals contained an image of Nike, the traditional goddess of victory, holding a palm in her left hand and a winners crown in her right. For each Olympic games, the reverse side as well as the labels for each Olympiad changed, reflecting the host of the games.
The Olympic Hymn, also known informally as the Olympic Anthem, is played when the Olympic Flag is raised. It is a musical piece composed by Spyridon Samaras with words written from a poem of the Greek poet and writer Kostis Palamas. Both the poet and the composer were the choice of Demetrius Vikelas, a Greek Pro-European and the first President of the IOC. The anthem was performed for the first time for the ceremony of opening of the 1896 Athens Olympic Games but wasn't declared the official hymn by the IOC until 1957.
The kotinos is an olive branch, originally of wild olive-tree, intertwined to form a circle or a horse-shoe, introduced by Heracles. In the ancient Olympic Games there were no gold, silver, or bronze medals. There was only one winner per event, crowned with an olive wreath made of wild olive leaves from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia. However in later times, this was not their only reward; the athlete was rewarded with a generous sum of money by his hometown. At Athens 2004 the kotinos tradition was renewed, although in this case it was bestowed together with the gold medal.
2. Study the table “Modern Olympics Movement”. Match information in Column 1 and 2 to describe the most prominent Olympic Symbols.
The Olympic Flag
a flame burning day and night for the duration of the Olympic Games.
The Olympic Hymn
a flag representing the five continents
The Olympic Flame
in Latin: "Citius, Altius, Fortius"; which means, "Faster, Higher, Stronger".
The Olympic mascot
the emblem of every edition of the Olympic Games, usually combining the Olympic Rings with some elements representing the host city or country and its culture.
The Olympic motto
sport, environment, culture.
The Olympic Oath
an oath to commit to competition in sport within the rules without doping. First taken at the 1920 Summer Olympics by the athletes, this was expanded to the judges at the 1972 Winter Olympics.
The Olympic Order
the poster of every edition of the Olympic Games, usually combining the Olympic aim with some elements representing the host city or country and its culture.
The Olympic emblem
an award conferred by the International Olympic Committee
The Olympic poster
played during the opening and closing ceremonies of Olympic Games and on certain other occasions
The three Olympic pillars
an animal native to the area or occasionally human figures representing the cultural heritage of the place where the Olympic Games are held.
The Infinitive is a non-finite form of the verb that has double nature: nominal and verbal.
1) The nominal character is manifested in its syntactic functions, as Infinitive can be used as:
- the subject: e.g. To go on like this was dangerous.
- a predicative: e.g. His plan was to come the first.
- an object: e.g. I learned to read and write in school.
2) The verbalcharacteristics of the Infinitive are as follows:
- the Inf. of transitive verbs can take a direct object: e.g. He began to feel sorry for her.
- the Inf. can be modified by an adverb: e.g. He wanted to go fast.
- the Inf. has tense and aspect distinctions; the Inf. of transitive verbs has also voice distinctions.