The Olympic symbols are icons and symbols used by the International Olympic Committee to elevate the Olympic Games. Some—such as the flame and theme—are more used during Olympic competition, but others, such as the flags, can be seen throughout the years; the Olympic flag was created under the guidance of Baron Coubertin in 1913 and was released in 1914. But it was first hoisted in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium at the 1920 Summer Olympics in the main stadium. Five rings equal the Five continents of the world; the Olympic motto is the hendiatris Citius, Fortius, Latin for "Faster, Stronger". It was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin upon the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. Coubertin borrowed it from his friend Henri Didon, a Dominican priest, an athletics enthusiast. Coubertin said "These three words represent a programme of moral beauty; the aesthetics of sport are intangible." The motto was introduced in 1924 at the Olympic Games in Paris. A more informal but well-known motto introduced by Coubertin, is "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!"
Coubertin got this motto from a sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania during the 1908 London Games. The rings are five interlocking rings, coloured blue, black and red on a white field, known as the "Olympic rings"; the symbol was designed in 1912 by de Coubertin. He appears to have intended the rings to represent the five continents: Europe, Africa and America. According to Coubertin, the colours of the rings together with the white of the background included the colours composing every competing nation's flag at the time. Upon its initial introduction, Coubertin stated the following in the August 1912 edition of Olympique:... the six colours combined in this way reproduce the colours of every country without exception. The blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tricolour flags of France, the United States, Belgium and Hungary, the yellow and red of Spain are included, as are the innovative flags of Brazil and Australia, those of ancient Japan and modern China; this is an international emblem.
In his article published in the Olympic Revue the official magazine of the International Olympic Committee in November 1992, the American historian Robert Barney explains that the idea of the interlaced rings came to Pierre de Coubertin when he was in charge of the USFSA, an association founded by the union of two French sports associations and until 1925, responsible for representing the International Olympic Committee in France: The emblem of the union was two interlaced rings and the idea of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: for him, the ring symbolized continuity and the human being. The 1914 Congress was suspended due to the outbreak of World War I, but the symbol and flag were adopted, they debuted at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. The symbol's popularity and widespread use began during the lead-up to the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Carl Diem, president of the Organizing Committee of the 1936 Summer Olympics, wanted to hold a torchbearers' ceremony in the stadium at Delphi, site of the famous oracle, where the Pythian Games were held.
For this reason he ordered construction of a milestone with the Olympic rings carved in the sides, that a torchbearer should carry the flame along with an escort of three others from there to Berlin. The ceremony was celebrated but the stone was never removed. Two American authors and Gray Poole, when visiting Delphi in the late 1950s, saw the stone and reported in their History of the Ancient Games that the Olympic rings design came from ancient Greece; this has become known as "Carl Diem's Stone". This created a myth; the current view of the International Olympic Committee is that the symbol "reinforces the idea" that the Olympic Movement is international and welcomes all countries of the world to join. As can be read in the Olympic Charter, the Olympic symbol represents the union of the "five continents" of the world and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games. However, no continent is represented by any specific ring. Prior to 1951, the official handbook stated that each colour corresponded to a particular continent: blue for Europe, yellow for Asia, black for Africa, green for Australia and Oceania, red for the Americas.
The logo of the Association of National Olympic Committees places the logo of each of its five continental associations inside the ring of the corresponding colour. The Olympic flag was created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1913; the Olympic flag has a white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, black and red. This design is symbolic. There are specific Olympic flags that are displayed by cities that will be hosting the next Olympic games. During each Olympic closing ceremony in what is traditionally known as the Antwerp Ceremony, the flag is passed from the mayor of one host city to the next host, where it will be taken to the new host and displayed at city hall; these flags should not be confused with the larger Olympic flags designed and created for each games, which are flown over the host stadium and retired. Because there is no specific flag for this purp
1948 Winter Olympics
The 1948 Winter Olympics known as the V Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated in 1948 in St. Moritz, Switzerland; the Games were the first to be celebrated after World War II. From the selection of a host city in a neutral country to the exclusion of Japan and Germany, the political atmosphere of the post-war world was inescapable during the Games; the organizing committee faced several challenges due to the lack of financial and human resources consumed by the war. These were the first of two winter Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Sigfrid Edström. There were 28 nations that marched in the opening ceremonies on January 30, 1948. Nearly 670 athletes competed in 22 events in four sports; the Games featured two demonstration sports: military patrol, which became the biathlon, winter pentathlon, discontinued after these Games. Notable performances were turned in by figure skaters Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott and skier Henri Oreiller. Most of the athletic venues were in existence from the first time St. Moritz hosted the Winter Games in 1928.
All of the venues were outdoors, which meant the Games were dependent on favorable weather conditions. The IOC selected St. Moritz to host the 1948 Games at the 39th general session in Lausanne, Switzerland, in September 1946; the selection process consisted of two bids, saw St. Moritz be selected ahead of Lake Placid, United States. St. Moritz was selected because it was located in Switzerland, which had remained neutral during the war, because it had hosted a Winter Games in 1928; this made the organization of the Games more economical. Despite the existence of many of the venues, it was still a difficult task to organize a Winter Olympic Games in less than 18 months; the Comite Olympique was composed of local dignitaries and members of the Swiss National Olympic Committee. They decided to separate into several sub-committees responsible for various aspects of the Games; these committees included housing and maintenance, venue construction and media and advertising. The local committees worked closely with the Swiss federal government and the IOC to ensure that the organization of the Games proceeded without hindrance.
Since no athletes' village existed from the previous Games, the athletes and officials were housed in hotels around the city. It was important for the committees to draw upon their experiences from the 1928 Olympics, their selection of locations for the various events was contingent on the weather conditions as all the events were held outdoors. Over 800 people were involved in reporting the news of the Games to the world. Nearly 500 press credentials were issued by the Press Commission for the Games. Television would not make its Olympic debut until 1956; the coverage of the 1948 Games was split between newspapers and radio broadcasts. The organizing committee had to provide technology, such as long distance telephone lines and telegraph services, to assist the press in communicating with their constituents. Over 2,200 people were needed to provide all the services for the press and athletes at the Games; these services included sanitation and care of the venues. Accommodating the influx of people into St. Moritz was a difficult task for the organizing committee.
It was complicated by the mountainous region. A massive project to improve the village's transportation infrastructure had to be completed prior to the Games; this included widening roads for vehicular traffic. Several train stations were built to accommodate the increased demands for public transit, they had to increase the capacity of the city's sewers. All of the projects had to be approved by the Swiss government, justified by its impact on the success of the Games. To aid the organizing committee the IOC demanded that all participating nations provide lists of their athletes several months prior to the Games; the Swiss knew how many athletes and officials to plan for. Since these Games were the first since World War II they were given the name "The Games of Renewal." Japan and Germany were not invited to these Games because they were still ostracized by the international community for their role in World War II. Their absence was short-lived though, as they returned to Olympic competition in 1952.
The Soviet Union did not send athletes to the St. Moritz Games of 1948, but they did send ten delegates as observers of the Games to determine how successful the Soviet athletes would have been had they competed. Sapporo, Japan had been the choice for the 1940 Winter Games. In 1938 the Japanese decided to decline the invitation to host the Games claiming that preparations for the Olympic Games were draining the country's resources; the IOC turned to the host of the 1936 Games, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which would make it the only city to host consecutive Games. This became impractical when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Finland believed it could host the Games and extended an invitation to the IOC, but the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland ended all hope of an Olympic Games in 1940; the 1944 Winter Olympics had been awarded to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy in 1939. As the war continued, this proved to be impractical and the second consecutive olympiad passed without a celebration of the Games.
The IOC was presented with two possible host cities for the first post-war Games: Lake Placid, United States and St
1916 Summer Olympics
The 1916 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the VI Olympiad, were scheduled to be held in Berlin, but were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War I. Berlin was selected as the host city during the 14th IOC Session in Stockholm on 4 July 1912, defeating bids from Alexandria, Brussels and Cleveland. After the 1916 Games were cancelled, Berlin would host the 1936 Summer Olympics, twenty years later. Work on the stadium, the Deutsches Stadion, began in 1912 at, it was planned to seat more than 18,000 spectators. On 8 June 1913, the stadium was dedicated with the release of 10,000 pigeons. 60,000 people were in attendance. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, organization continued as no one expected that the war would continue for several years. Though, the Games were cancelled. A winter sports week with speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and Nordic skiing was planned; the central venue was to have been the Deutsches Stadion. Berlin returned to Olympic bidding in 1931, when it beat Barcelona, for the right to host the 1936 Summer Olympics, the last Olympics before the outbreak of World War II.
Olympic Games abandoned due to war 1916 Summer Olympics 1940 Summer Olympics 1940 Winter Olympics 1944 Summer Olympics 1944 Winter Olympics Olympic Games International Olympic Committee List of IOC country codes
The Olympic flame is a symbol used in the Olympic movement. Several months before the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit at Greece; this ceremony starts the Olympic torch relay, which formally ends with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The flame continues to burn in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, until it is extinguished during the Olympic closing ceremony; the Olympic flame as a symbol of the modern Olympic movement was introduced by architect Jan Wils who designed the stadium for the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. The idea for the Olympic flame was derived from ancient Greece, where a sacred fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics on the altar of the sanctuary of Hestia. In Ancient Greek mythology, fire had divine connotations — it was thought to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus. Sacred fires were present including those at Olympia; every four years, when Zeus was honoured at the Olympic Games, additional fires were lit at his temple and that of his wife, Hera.
The modern Olympic flame is ignited at the site. When the tradition of an Olympic fire was reintroduced during the 1928 Summer Olympics, an employee of the Electric Utility of Amsterdam lit the first modern Olympic flame in the Marathon Tower of the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam; the Olympic flame has been part of the Summer Olympics since. The Olympic flame was first introduced to the Winter Olympics at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. By contrast to the Olympic flame proper, the Olympic torch relay, which transports the flame from Olympia, Greece to the various designated sites of the Games, had no ancient precedent and was introduced by Carl Diem at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin which were organized by the Nazis under the guidance of Joseph Goebbels. At the first Olympic torch relay, the flame was transported from Olympia to Berlin over 3,187 kilometres by 3,331 runners in twelve days and eleven nights. There were minor protests in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia on the way, which were suppressed by the local security forces.
Leni Riefenstahl staged the torch relay for the 1938 film Olympia. The Olympic fire is ignited several months before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games at the site of the ancient Olympics in Olympia, Greece. Eleven women, representing the Vestal Virgins, perform a celebration at the Temple of Hera in which the first torch of the Olympic Torch Relay is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror. At the beginning of the ceremony, the Olympic anthem was sung first followed by the national anthem of the country hosting the Olympics and the national anthem of Greece along with the hoisting of the flags. After the ceremony at Olympia, the Olympic flame first travels around Greece, is transferred during a ceremony in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens from the prior Olympic city to the current year's host city; the Olympic torch relay in the host country ends with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony in the central host stadium of the Games.
The final carrier is kept unannounced until the last moment. Over the years, it has become a tradition to let famous athletes, former athletes or athletes with significant achievements and milestones be the last runner in the Olympic torch relay; the Olympic torch travels routes. Although most of the time the torch with the Olympic flame is still carried by runners, it has been transported in many different ways; the fire travelled by boat in 1948 and 2012 to cross the English Channel and was carried by rowers in Canberra as well as by dragon boat in Hong Kong in 2008, it was first transported by airplane in 1952, when the fire travelled to Helsinki. In 1956, all carriers in the torch relay to Stockholm, where the equestrian events were held instead of in Melbourne, travelled on horseback. Remarkable means of transportation were used in 1976, when the flame was transformed to a radio signal and transmitted from Europe to the New World: Heat sensors in Athens detected the flame, the signal was sent to Ottawa via satellite where it was received and used to trigger a laser beam to re-light the flame.
The torch, but not the flame, was taken into space by astronauts in 1996, 2000 and 2013. In 2000, the torch was carried under the water by divers near the Great Barrier Reef. Other unique means of transportation include a Native American canoe, a camel, Concorde; the torch has been carried across water. In 2000, an underwater flare was used by a diver across the Great Barrier Reef en route to the Sydney Games. In 2012 it was carried by boat across Bristol harbour in the UK and on the front of a London Underground train to Wimbledon. In 2004, the first global torch relay was undertaken, a journey; the Olympic flame covered a distance of more than 78,000 km in the hands of some 11,300 torchbearers, travelling to Africa and South America for the first time, visiting all previous Olympic cities and returning to Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay spanned all six inhabited continents before proceeding through China, but was met with protests in London and San Francisco.
As a result, in 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced that future torch relays could be held only within the country hosting the Olympics after the initial Greek leg. Although this rule took effect with the 2014 Winter Olympics, the organizers of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London chose to hold their torch relays o
Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad, first held in 1896, is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years. The most recent Olympics were held in Rio de Brazil; the International Olympic Committee oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, bronze medals are awarded for third place; the Winter Olympic Games were created due to the success of the Summer Olympics. The Olympics have increased in scope from a 42-event competition with fewer than 250 male competitors from 14 nations in 1896, to 306 events with 11,238 competitors from 206 nations in 2016; the Summer Olympics has been hosted on five continents by a total of nineteen countries. The Games have been held four times in the United States; the IOC has selected Tokyo, Japan, to host the Summer Olympics for a second time in 2020. The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, for a third time one hundred years after the city's last Summer Olympics in 1924.
The IOC has selected Los Angeles, California, to host its third Summer Games in 2028. To date, only five countries have participated in every Summer Olympic Games – Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland; the United States leads the all-time medal table for the Summer Olympics. The United States has hosted the Summer Olympic Games four times: the 1904 Games were held in St. Louis, Missouri; the 2028 Games in Los Angeles will mark the fifth occasion on which the Summer Games have been hosted by the U. S. In 2012, the United Kingdom hosted its third Summer Olympic Games in the capital city, which became the first city to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times; the cities of Los Angeles and Athens have each hosted two Summer Olympic Games. In 2024, France will host its third Summer Olympic Games in its capital, making Paris the second city to have hosted three Summer Olympics. In 2028, Los Angeles will become the third city to have hosted the Games three times. Australia, France and Greece have all hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice.
The IOC has selected Tokyo, Japan, to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, when it will become the first city outside the Western world to have hosted the Summer Olympics more than once, having hosted the Games in 1964. The other countries that have hosted the Summer Olympics are Belgium, China, Finland, Mexico, South Korea, Soviet Union, Sweden. Asia has hosted the Summer Olympics three times, in Tokyo, Seoul, South Korea, Beijing, China; the Summer Olympics has been held predominantly in English-speaking countries and European nations. Tokyo will be the first city outside these regions to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice; the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, were the first Summer Olympics to be held in South America and the first that were held during the local winter season. The only two countries in the Southern Hemisphere to have hosted the Summer Olympics have been Australia and Brazil. Africa has yet to host a Summer Olympics. Stockholm, has hosted events at two Summer Olympic Games, having been sole host of the 1912 Games, hosting the equestrian events at the 1956 Summer Olympics.
Amsterdam, has hosted events at two Summer Olympic Games, having been sole host of the 1928 Games and hosting two of the sailing races at the 1920 Summer Olympics. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong provided the venues for the equestrian events, which took place in Sha Tin and Kwu Tung; the modern Olympic Games were founded in 1894 when Pierre de Coubertin sought to promote international understanding through sporting competition. He based his Olympics on the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games, contested in Much Wenlock since 1850; the first edition of de Coubertin's games, held in Athens in 1896, attracted just 245 competitors, of whom more than 200 were Greek, only 14 countries were represented. No international events of this magnitude had been organised before. Female athletes were not allowed to compete, though one woman, Stamata Revithi, ran the marathon course on her own, saying "If the committee doesn't let me compete I will go after them regardless"; the 1896 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event, celebrated in Athens, from 6 to 15 April 1896.
It was the first Olympic Games held in the Modern era. About 100,000 people attended for the opening of the games; the athletes came with most coming from Greece. Although Greece had the most athletes, the U. S. finished with the most champions. 11 Americans placed first in their events vs. the 10 from Greece
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether a combatant or a non-combatant, held in custody by a belligerent power during or after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1660. Belligerents hold prisoners of war in custody for a range of legitimate and illegitimate reasons, such as isolating them from enemy combatants still in the field, demonstrating military victory, punishing them, prosecuting them for war crimes, exploiting them for their labour, recruiting or conscripting them as their own combatants, collecting military and political intelligence from them, or indoctrinating them in new political or religious beliefs. For most of human history, depending on the culture of the victors, enemy combatants on the losing side in a battle who had surrendered and been taken as a prisoner of war could expect to be either slaughtered or enslaved; the first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite and the Gaul.
Homer's Iliad describes Greek and Trojan soldiers offering rewards of wealth to opposing forces who have defeated them on the battlefield in exchange for mercy, but their offers are not always accepted. Little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture a practice known as raptio. Women had no rights, were held as chattel. In the fourth century AD, Bishop Acacius of Amida, touched by the plight of Persian prisoners captured in a recent war with the Roman Empire, who were held in his town under appalling conditions and destined for a life of slavery, took the initiative of ransoming them, by selling his church's precious gold and silver vessels, letting them return to their country. For this he was canonized. During Childeric's siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response.
Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so. Many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; this was done in retaliation for the French killing of the boys and other non-combatants handling the baggage and equipment of the army, because the French were attacking again and Henry was afraid that they would break through and free the prisoners to fight again. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat but eliminate their enemies. In Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable. Examples include the Northern Crusades; when asked by a Crusader how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars once they'd taken the city of Béziers, the Papal Legate Arnaud Amalric famously replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own". The inhabitants of conquered cities were massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed. In feudal Japan, there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, who were for the most part summarily executed.
The expanding Mongol Empire was famous for distinguishing between cities or towns that surrendered, where the population were spared but required to support the conquering Mongol army, those that resisted, where their city was ransacked and destroyed, all the population killed. In Termez, on the Oxus: "all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, divided in accordance with their usual custom they were all slain"; the Aztecs were at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, with the goal of this constant warfare being to collect live prisoners for sacrifice. For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, "between 10,000 and 80,400 persons" were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims captured large number of prisoners. Aside from those who converted, most were enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom. During his lifetime, Muhammad made it the responsibility of the Islamic government to provide food and clothing, on a reasonable basis, to captives, regardless of their religion.
The freeing of prisoners was recommended as a charitable act. On certain occasions where Muhammad felt the enemy had broken a treaty with the Muslims, he ordered the mass execution of male prisoners, such as the Banu Qurayza. Females and children of this tribe were divided up as spoils of war by Muhammad; the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years' War, established the rule that prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities and that they should be allowed to return to their homelands. There evolved the right of parole, French for "discourse", in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain the freedom of the prison. If he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Ea