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.

Recent Headlines

in National

Netflix agrees to pay AT&T for smooth streaming

Fresh
netflix

Netflix has agreed to pay AT&T to ensure smooth delivery of its content.

in Sports

PGA Tour commissioner, Woods hope for big finish

Fresh
tigerwoods

Tiger Woods, battling back from a back injury, still drives fan interest and TV ratings.

in Sports

In Clippers case, court does dirty work for NBA

Fresh
sterling

A court has thrown the league a big life preserver by clearing the way for the $2 billion sale of the franchise.

in Sports

NCAA to settle concussion suit with $70M fund

Fresh
concussion

The NCAA will provide $70 million for concussion testing and diagnosis of student athletes in a move to change the way colleges address sports safety.

in Sports

Wednesday’s Sports Minute

Fresh
oakland

A look at the sports news making headlines today, Wednesday, July 30.