P ierre de Coubertin ( 1863- 1937), the founder of the modern Olympic Games, understood the importance of emotion and imagination as educational tools. He integrated sports with culture in the organisation of the Olympic Games. He created symbols and encouraged ceremonies, music, and pageantry. These artistic and cultural experiences make the Olympics different from other sporting events and provide a basis for values education activities in a variety of curriculum areas – including sport and physical education. OLYMPIC RINGS AND FLAG The most widely recognised symbol of the Olympic Games is the five interlocking rings. The colours are blue, black, red, yellow and green. They are laced together to show the universality of Olympism. At least one of these five colours ( including the white background) appears in the flag of every competing nation. The rings are often said to represent the five parts of the world involved in the Olympic Games: Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Americas. The Olympic flag has the five coloured rings on a white background and was first hoisted over an Olympic stadium in 1920 during the Antwerp Games. At each Olympic Games the flag is brought into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony and raised on a flagpole. It must fly in the stadium during the whole of the Olympic Games. The lowering of the flag at the Closing Ceremony signals the end of the Games. The mayor of the host city of the Games then passes the Olympic flag to the mayor of the next host city of the Games. OLYMPIC MOTTO The Olympic motto is CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS which is Latin for FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER. The motto was created in 1891 by Father Henri Didon, a friend of Pierre de Coubertin, and adopted by the IOC in 1894. BACKGROUND INFORMATION 26TEACHINGVALUES SECTION 2 CELEBRATING THE VALUES THROUGH SYMBOL AND CEREMONY THE OLYMPIC GAMES LIVE IN THE IMAGINATION THROUGH THEIR SYMBOLS AND TRADITIONS. THIS SECTION INTRODUCES THEM AND SHOWS HOW THEY CAN BE USED TO PROMOTE THE VALUES OF OLYMPISM. AboveTurin 2006: Stefania Belmondo ( ITA), the last torch bearer during the Opening Ceremony. Right Athens 2004: Raising the flag during the Opening Ceremony. OLYMPIC MESSAGE " 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." These words are displayed on the main scoreboard at every modern Olympic Games. Pierre de Coubertin borrowed them from a speech that he heard in 1908. OLYMPIC FLAME AND TORCH The Olympic flame symbolises the striving for perfection and the struggle for victory; it also represents peace and friendship. The tradition of the modern Olympic torch began in 1936 at the Berlin Games and has since remained as an Olympic custom. The torch is lit by the sun at Ancient Olympia, Greece and then passed from runner to runner in a relay to the host city. There it is used to light a flame in a cauldron at the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The flame burns throughout the Games and is extinguished at the Closing Ceremony. OPENING CEREMONY The Opening Ceremony is the first public event of the Olympic Games and is primarily the responsibility of the host city's Organising Committee. The order of the ceremony is stipulated by the Olympic Charter ( see box, right). OLYMPIC ANTHEM The music was written by Greek composer Spyros Samaras and the words were added by Greek poet Kostis Palamas in 1896. It was adopted by the IOC in 1958. The Olympic anthem is played at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of all Olympic Games and during all official International Olympic Committee ceremonies.
TEACHING VALUES AN OLYMPIC EDUCATION TOOLKIT SECTION 2 CELEBRATING THE VALUES THROUGH SYMBOL AND CEREMONY TEACHINGVALUES27 OPENING CEREMONY ORDER OF EVENTS: Parade of Nations – Greece first, host city last, others in alphabetical order. Speeches by the President of the Organising Committee and the President of the International Olympic Committee. Head of State of the host country officially declares the Games " open." Olympic flag is raised as the Olympic anthem is played. Olympic torch is used to light the Olympic flame. Doves are released as a symbol of peace. Olympic oath is taken by an athlete and an official. Cultural entertainment is provided by the Organising Committee of the host city. AboveThe first Olympic Flag. This flag was prepared under Baron Pierre de Coubertin's orders, and was displayed during the Pan- Egyptian Games, Alexandria, Egypt in 1914. You can see the words " Alexandrie 5 Avril 1914" on the flag. Right Lillehammer 1994: Violinists in a sleigh, a Norwegian tradition, at the Opening Ceremony.