News

Do you know what the Olympic rings stand for?

Do you know what the Olympic rings stand for?

RINGS AND THINGS: International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams says "the rings are not assigned to each continent," despite popular legend." Photo: Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — No, the different-colored Olympic rings don’t correspond to specific continents.

But you’d be forgiven for thinking differently if you’re going to or from Sochi’s airport.

Five enormous concrete sculptures of the rings welcome visitors, each labeled in bold letters, in Russian and English, with the name of a continent: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Americas.

SPECIAL SECTION: 2014 Winter Olympics

Trouble is, that’s wrong. International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams says “the rings are not assigned to each continent,” despite popular legend. “I don’t know how that happened, but I don’t think it’s a major issue.”

Olympic historian Philip Barker says an information panel at the 2000 Sydney games similarly misled visitors by attaching continents to specific rings.

When Pierre de Coubertin, considered the founder of the modern Olympics, designed the rings a century ago, he chose black, red, yellow, green and blue because every flag in the world bore at least one of those colors, according to the Olympic Museum.

When one of the rings failed to open during the Sochi Olympic opening ceremony last week, some pesky tweeters perpetuated the continent-color myth and a bit of Cold War nostalgia. They noted the missing ring was the red one — mistakenly considered the American ring. Nope.

Latest News

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, UVA

Rector Voices Confidence In Sullivan

Updated
Sullivan Teresa 82612 CC

UVA Rector George Martin voices confidence in President Teresa Sullivan.

in Charlottesville City, Local

Buford Band Director Will Retire

Buford Kids 33109 CC

The longtime director of the Buford Middle School band is retiring.

in Charlottesville City, Local

City Salutes Charles Alexander

D

City officials have recognized Charles Alexander, a well-known motivational speaker.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Local Sports, Sports, UVA, UVA Sports

UVA Tops VT In Commonwealth Clash

UVA Men's Soccer NCAA Champions 121414 (credit UVA Athletics)

UVA defeated Virginia Tech in the Commonwealth Clash, sponsored by Virginia529.

in Local, Local Sports, Sports, Surrounding Counties, UVA, UVA Sports

UVA Drops Doubleheader To Wolfpack

baseball bat

The UVA baseball team dropped both games of a Sunday doubleheader at N.C. State.