The 2012 Summer Olympics just kicked off last July 27 in London marking a special event for each participating country to showcase their representatives’ athletic prowess among the different sports that are featured in this year’s programme. Although the event is filled with athletes performing high jumps, sprints, strokes and summersaults, there is possibly one simple symbol in the Olympics that is most well-known and most representative of the values that the organizers hold dear – the Olympic rings.
Originally designed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1912, the Olympic symbol is composed of five interlocking rings, coloured blue, yellow, red, green and black that represent the colors of all the national flags that participated in the Olympic games at that time. However, this symbolism has changed throughout the years. At present, the five rings now represent the five continents of the world that participate in the Olympic Games as viewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Interestingly enough, the design elements used in the rings have also evolved through time as each host nation modifies the design to either incorporate a landmark or one of the country’s cultural heritage. Here is a list of Olympic Logos from 1924 to 2008 taken from the official site of the Olympic Movement.