Why are there 5 Olympic rings and what are they used for?
The Olympic symbol – known as the Olympic rings – is the visual emblem of Olympism for billions of people. It is based on a design created by Pierre de Coubertin, the ancestor of the modern Olympic movement. He defined that the five rings represent the five parts of the world now acquired by the cause of Olympism and ready to accept its prolific rivalries. Furthermore, the six colors thus combined reproduce those of all nations without exception.
The definition, which is also part of the Olympic Charter, rule eight says: “The Olympic symbol consists of five interwoven rings of equal dimensions (the Olympic rings), used alone, in one or five different colors. When used in its five-color version, these colors should be, from left to right, blue, yellow, black, green and red. The rings are intertwined from left to right; the blue, black and red rings are located at the top, the yellow and green rings at the bottom by the following graphic reproduction.“
Within the same Rule, it is also explained the meaning of the symbol: “The Olympic symbol expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from all over the world at the Olympic Games.“
The Olympic rings were introduced in 1913, but they did not appear until the Seventh Olympiad in Antwerp in 1920. Then, for the first time, the rings were set against the white background of the Olympic flag.
The Olympic rings are a cornerstone of the Olympic properties, which include a variety of assets: the Olympic symbol, flag, motto, anthem, identifications, designations, emblems, flame and torches, or as they are collectively referred to as “Olympic properties”. “To preserve the integrity and authority of the Olympic properties, specific guidelines are available to guide their use while ensuring their visibility and inclusion.