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Last Updated: 16 June 2014
Hits: 1136

The interlocking rings were first drawn by Pierre de Coubertin – the founder of the modern Olympic Games – on a letter in July 1913. Soon after, the rings made their debut on the first Olympic flag, which was raised in Alexandria’s Chatby stadium at a sporting event commemorating 20 years since the founding of the modern Olympic Games. That flag now hangs proudly in the newly renovated Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

© IOC Seoul 1988 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony 

Coubertin later presented the rings and the flag at the Olympic Congress in Paris on 17 June 1914, where they were officially adopted by the IOC.

© IOC Antwerp 1920 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Due to the outbreak of the First World War, however, it was not until the 1920 Games in Antwerp that the flag and its five rings could be seen flying in an Olympic stadium for the first time.

© IOC Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games

The Olympic symbol representing the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games has gone on to become one of the most recognised symbols in the world and the symbolic passing of the Olympic flag from one host city to another has become a key tradition at the closing of the Games.

© IOC Innsbruck 1976 Olympic Winter Games

Last Updated: 21 August 2014
Hits: 984

It was just the second ever YOG medal won by Egyptian athletes, following the silver claimed by the rhythmic gymnastics squad at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

In a dominant performance Ahmed lifted 103kg in the snatch, well ahead of the next best lift of 94kg by Mongolia’s Ankhtsetseg Munkhjantsan. The 16-year-old Egyptian also posted the top result in the clean and jerk, lifting 125kg for a total of 228kg.

An emotional Ahmed was relieved her preparation had paid off. “Many things helped me become the best,” she said. “Hard work and training for more than two years, and my coach, who has supported me for two years.

“I’m very happy that I won the first gold medal for Egypt [at Nanjing 2014]. It’s the first Olympic title for me and I hope there will be more to come.”

Ana Lilia Duran Ayon (MEX) collected silver, lifting 90kg in the snatch and 120kg in the clean and jerk to post a total of 210kg, edging bronze medallist Sofiya Zenchenko (UKR) by a mere 2kg.

Zenchenko matched Duran Ayon’s score in the clean and jerk but could only manage 88kg on her third attempt in the snatch for a total of 208kg.

Despite her impressive start, Munkhjantsan narrowly missed out on a podium spot, lifting a total of 207kg.

Gold medallist Mkrtchyan (centre) is flanked by Ragala (IND, silver) and Kaliyev (KAZ, bronze)

Joy for Armenia as Mkrtchyan grabs gold

In the men’s 77kg event Hakob Mkrtchyan claimed gold for Armenia, lifting 142kg in the snatch and 177kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 319kg.

Venkat Rahul Ragala (IND), who lifted 141kg in the snatch, ultimately had to settle for silver after he failed with his final lift, an attempt at 179kg in the clean and jerk.

Ragala finished with a total of 316kg and admitted the competition had been “very tough”. “I ran out of oxygen,” he said of his last attempted lift.

The battle for bronze was tight between Zhaslan Kaliyev (KAZ) and Ahmed Elsayed (EGY). Elsayed looked to have secured third place with a final lift of 176kg and a total of 311kg, but the lift was disallowed by the judges, giving the Egyptian a revised total of 306kg. The decision sent Kaliyev’s supporters into raptures as he claimed bronze with a total of 310kg.

Last Updated: 16 June 2014
Hits: 1123

The interlocking rings were first drawn by Pierre de Coubertin – the founder of the modern Olympic Games – on a letter in July 1913. Soon after, the rings made their debut on the first Olympic flag, which was raised in Alexandria’s Chatby stadium at a sporting event commemorating 20 years since the founding of the modern Olympic Games. That flag now hangs proudly in the newly renovated Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

© IOC Seoul 1988 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony 

Coubertin later presented the rings and the flag at the Olympic Congress in Paris on 17 June 1914, where they were officially adopted by the IOC.

© IOC Antwerp 1920 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Due to the outbreak of the First World War, however, it was not until the 1920 Games in Antwerp that the flag and its five rings could be seen flying in an Olympic stadium for the first time.

© IOC Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games

The Olympic symbol representing the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games has gone on to become one of the most recognised symbols in the world and the symbolic passing of the Olympic flag from one host city to another has become a key tradition at the closing of the Games.

© IOC Innsbruck 1976 Olympic Winter Games

Last Updated: 14 August 2014
Hits: 1044

Take a look at http://yogselfie.tumblr.com/ to see what the athletes have been getting up to in the village.

Sharing their selfies on social media platforms, the athletes’ enthusiasm has been digitalised for friends, family and followers to see! Athletes at the Youth Olympic Village (YOV) will also have a chance to create selfie gifs in a video booth which will then be shown on screens around the village to get the villagers in the selfie mood, as well as being posted on dedicated Tumblr site http://yogselfie.tumblr.com/.

As part of the Culture and Education Programme, YOG athletes will be invited to attend workshops on how best to engage with their social media audience and to improve fan numbers.

Send in your selfie to help these Games reach a record number of selfies!

Get your YOG selfie out there via the hashtag #YOGselfie and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Last Updated: 17 June 2014
Hits: 1089
The 2014/2015 Advanced Olympic Research Grant winners

The six selected projects are:

  • Governing to maintain legacies: Urban governance, policies and the long-term impacts of the Olympics
    Mark DAVIDSON (Clark University, USA)
  • Implicit and explicit perception of the Olympic Values and Olympic Movement in different cultures
    Holger PREUSS (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany), Lamartine P. DACOSTA (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Norbert SCHÜTTE (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Germany) and Jörg KÖNIGSTORFER (Technische Universität München, Germany)
  • Leveraging the Olympic Games for capacity building of National Sport Governing Bodies
    Vassil GIRGINOV (Brunel University, Great Britain) and Nikolay PESHIN (Russian International Olympic University, Russia)
  • Profiling sport for development strategies of Olympic Movement stakeholders in eight SADEC countries
    Cora BURNETT-LOUW (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • The legacies of the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games perceived by the local youth
    Martin SCHNITZER (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
  • The role of the entourage in supporting elite athlete performance and educational outcomes
    Camilla KNIGHT (Swansea University, Great Britain) and Chris HARWOOD (Loughborough University, Great Britain)

The selected researchers will benefit from a grant which will allow them to carry out their research project, meet IOC departments’ professionals and, if relevant, to consult the OSC’s resources in Lausanne (unique collection of more than one million archived documents, publications, official reports, photos and film archival material). The results of their research must be submitted to the OSC in June 2015.  

99 researchers from 25 countries and 5 continents applied

This year, which has seen the kick-off of the first edition of the Advanced programme, 44 individual and collective candidature files were submitted from 25 countries, covering all the priority research themes proposed by the IOC. 

Background of the programme

The main objective of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme is to promote advanced research by established researchers with a humanities or social sciences perspective in priority fields of research, which are identified annually by the IOC. University professors, lecturers and research fellows who have completed their doctorate and who currently hold an academic/research appointment covering the period of the grant are eligible to apply. For more information on the priority fields of research and the rules and guidelines in general, click here.

What is the selection process?

In a comprehensive analysis of all the projects - the academic quality as well as the significance of the research proposal to at least one of the priority fields of research -, the proposals are assessed by both academic experts and the IOC departments’ professionals. Taking into account these evaluations, the IOC Grant Selection Committee, which is also composed of academic experts, recommends to the OSC a list of projects to be awarded. Based on these final recommendations, the OSC, in coordination with the IOC departments, validates the final selection of six applications to be awarded.

When is the next edition?

The 2015/2016 edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme will be launched in October 2014. Useful documents will be available on our website.

Other research opportunities

The 2015 edition of the PhD Students’ Research Grant Programme was launched in April, with a second category proposed and aimed specifically at PhD students whose research is focused on topics of interest for the National Olympic Committees. The complete explanatory document and the application form are available on our website. Application files must be submitted by email to the OSC by 26 September 2014.

For more information on the IOC Olympic Studies Centre, its resources and services, visit our website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last Updated: 05 June 2014
Hits: 1030

A degraded environment can have a negative impact on sport, the Olympic Games and, most importantly, on the athletes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Movement at large consider environmental responsibility as an integral part of Olympism, along with sport and culture, and work to acknowledge and encourage the implementation of good environmental practices in the field of sport.

In line with this year’s theme - Small Islands Developing States and Climate Change - two particular projects within the Olympic Movement are being highlighted, which, through the engagement of Athletes, push their local communities to become active and take the necessary measures to protect islands and their surrounding environment.

“Love Your Coast” in Papua New Guinea

The Athletes’ Commission of the Papua New Guinea Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) teamed up with New Zealand-based charity Sustainable Coastlines to launch the Go Green: Love Your Coast” environmental programme. A continental winner of the 2013 IOC Sport and Environment Award, this project aims to raise large-scale awareness about environmental challenges faced by communities as a result of the impact of non-biodegradable waste and to initiate engagement on how to look after fragile coastlines and waterways.

A mainstay of the programme is the role model function of athletes, who inspire young people to look after their local environment through simple, hands-on educational solutions, generating behavioural change. The project also empowers athletes in areas such as public speaking, event logistics and budgeting to benefit them in their chosen careers during or after their sporting lives.

Watch this video to learn more about this programme

Inspiring New Zealanders to be environmental champions

Working at the intersection between sport and the environment, Project Litefoot is a New Zealand-based charitable trust led by top sports people, including IOC member and Olympic windsurfing champion Barbara Kendall. Setting the example, these athletes seek to inspire New Zealanders to be environmental champions. The objective is to transform community sports infrastructure so as to make it collectively electricity independent, water neutral and have zero waste by 2025. In addition to the environmental and social benefits, the initiative is freeing up money for investment into sport.

Through its lead initiative, LiteClub, launched in 2011, more than USD 1.6 million has already been freed for investment in sport; 12.2 million litres of water have been saved each year; and 820 tonnes of waste have been diverted from landfills each year.

Watch this video to learn more about Project Litefoot

The environment: A pillar of Olympism

In keeping with a recommendation by the Centennial Olympic Congress in 1994, the IOC amended the Olympic Charter in 1996 to stress the need to “encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly.”  It also signed a cooperation agreement with UNEP to develop joint initiatives in the field of sport and the environment.

Learn more about “Sustainability in Sport”

Learn more about the IOC Sport and Environment Commission

Learn more about the IOC Sport and Environment Awards

Last Updated: 17 June 2014
Hits: 1060
The 2014/2015 Advanced Olympic Research Grant winners

The six selected projects are:

  • Governing to maintain legacies: Urban governance, policies and the long-term impacts of the Olympics
    Mark DAVIDSON (Clark University, USA)
  • Implicit and explicit perception of the Olympic Values and Olympic Movement in different cultures
    Holger PREUSS (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany), Lamartine P. DACOSTA (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Norbert SCHÜTTE (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Germany) and Jörg KÖNIGSTORFER (Technische Universität München, Germany)
  • Leveraging the Olympic Games for capacity building of National Sport Governing Bodies
    Vassil GIRGINOV (Brunel University, Great Britain) and Nikolay PESHIN (Russian International Olympic University, Russia)
  • Profiling sport for development strategies of Olympic Movement stakeholders in eight SADEC countries
    Cora BURNETT-LOUW (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • The legacies of the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games perceived by the local youth
    Martin SCHNITZER (University of Innsbruck, Austria)
  • The role of the entourage in supporting elite athlete performance and educational outcomes
    Camilla KNIGHT (Swansea University, Great Britain) and Chris HARWOOD (Loughborough University, Great Britain)

The selected researchers will benefit from a grant which will allow them to carry out their research project, meet IOC departments’ professionals and, if relevant, to consult the OSC’s resources in Lausanne (unique collection of more than one million archived documents, publications, official reports, photos and film archival material). The results of their research must be submitted to the OSC in June 2015.  

99 researchers from 25 countries and 5 continents applied

This year, which has seen the kick-off of the first edition of the Advanced programme, 44 individual and collective candidature files were submitted from 25 countries, covering all the priority research themes proposed by the IOC. 

Background of the programme

The main objective of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme is to promote advanced research by established researchers with a humanities or social sciences perspective in priority fields of research, which are identified annually by the IOC. University professors, lecturers and research fellows who have completed their doctorate and who currently hold an academic/research appointment covering the period of the grant are eligible to apply. For more information on the priority fields of research and the rules and guidelines in general, click here.

What is the selection process?

In a comprehensive analysis of all the projects - the academic quality as well as the significance of the research proposal to at least one of the priority fields of research -, the proposals are assessed by both academic experts and the IOC departments’ professionals. Taking into account these evaluations, the IOC Grant Selection Committee, which is also composed of academic experts, recommends to the OSC a list of projects to be awarded. Based on these final recommendations, the OSC, in coordination with the IOC departments, validates the final selection of six applications to be awarded.

When is the next edition?

The 2015/2016 edition of the Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme will be launched in October 2014. Useful documents will be available on our website.

Other research opportunities

The 2015 edition of the PhD Students’ Research Grant Programme was launched in April, with a second category proposed and aimed specifically at PhD students whose research is focused on topics of interest for the National Olympic Committees. The complete explanatory document and the application form are available on our website. Application files must be submitted by email to the OSC by 26 September 2014.

For more information on the IOC Olympic Studies Centre, its resources and services, visit our website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last Updated: 12 August 2014
Hits: 1003

Available for everyone on olympic.org, the educational tools developed by the IOC in time for this month’s YOG include several interactive video clips, which, using fictional athletes’ stories, present the different dimensions of sexual harassment and abuse in sport.

You can also watch the video clips and find relevant information online at: http://sha.olympic.org/

Protect your sport and stand up against sexual harassment and abuse in sport!

Last Updated: 04 October 2014
Hits: 1132

Double gold for China

China’s legions of table tennis fans had plenty to cheer about in the men’s and women’s singles competitions at the Wutaishan Sports Centre, with their players striking gold in both.

Home favourite Fan Zhendong took the men’s title after withstanding a determined fight-back by Japan’s Yuto Muramatsu in the final, while Liu Gaoyang overpowered the top-seeded Doo Hoi Kem (HKG) in the deciding match in the women’s competition. The bronze medals went to Hugo Calderano (BRA) and Lily Zhang (USA) respectively.

Urged on by a vociferous crowd, junior world number one Fan took the first game against Muramatsu, only for the Japanese to hit back in a classic attack-versus-defence encounter and win the next two games.

“It was very intense and difficult but what I’m satisfied with was how I reacted when the going got tough,” said Fan after his hard-fought 4-2 (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-4) victory. The turning point came in the fourth game when China called a timeout in a bid to halt Muramatsu’s momentum.

Holding back the tears, the Japanese player said: “I reached my potential but I got nervous in the fourth game which caused the loss. It was my own mistake.”

Fan’s march to gold included a taxing quarter-final against Hong Kong, China’s Hung Ka Tak, which went the distance. “These two days I’ve had problems but I went all out,” said the champion, relieved after his exertions.

Liu had no such problems in winning her gold, brushing aside Doo 4-1 (11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-1, 11-3) in the final and conceding only five games in her seven matches.
“I played well today, because I figured out all the difficulties,” she said. “Conversely, she was a little conservative.”

A dismayed Doo, who owed her higher ranking to having played more tournaments recently, accepted that she had been second-best: “I feel like I didn’t play well. It’s a pity. She didn’t do anything different. Whatever strategy I prepared, as the match unfolded, it was clear I wasn’t as tough as her.”

Earlier in the day, Zhang and Calderano respectively won USA and Brazil’s first ever Olympic table tennis medals.
The only player at Nanjing 2014 with Olympic Games experience, Zhang produced a gritty defensive display to upset the fifth seed Miyu Kato (JPN) 4-2 (10-12, 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8).

“I think I did really well because I was able to just calm down when I was losing a few points in a row,” said the American. “I just kept telling myself zero-zero, and not think about the points, whether I’m up or down.

“I didn’t want to play safe. I’m pretty sure, if you watched the game, you could see me mouthing ‘zero-zero, zero-zero’.”

For his part, Calderano held off a fightback by Yang Heng-Wei (TPE) to win the men’s bronze-medal match 4-2 (11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10).

“I feel very good coming from a country where table tennis is not popular,” he said. “It was hard playing against him. Even the first three games were not easy. I won by the narrowest of margins.”
 
Calderano’s objective now is to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in his home city, Rio de Janeiro.
Fan and Liu strike again
 
China completed a sweep of the table tennis gold medals by beating Japan 2-0 in the final of the mixed international team event.

Women’s singles champion Liu Gaoyang eased to a 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-9) victory over Miyu Kato before men’s singles winner Fan Zhendong recovered from an early hiccup to beat Yuto Muramatsu, sealing the title for China with a game to spare.
“I’m not feeling well so I didn’t perform well in my singles match and lost it,” Kato said. “And [Liu’s] power, speed and reach gave her an advantage. We were putting our hope in the mixed doubles and hoping our teamwork could help.”

Her team-mate Muramatsu pushed Fan hard in their match, a repeat of the men’s singles final. The Japanese player took the first game and led 8-5 in the second, prompting the Chinese to call a timeout, after which Fan took control.
“Today the points lost were of my own doing,” said Fan following his 3-1 (10-12, 14-12, 11-5, 11-5) win. “I was relaxed at the start and everything went according to plan. But losing the first game put me in a spot.”
Reflecting on the timeout, he said: “We didn’t change much because the experience of the singles final had already taught us what game plan to use. Maybe what it did more was calm me down and ready myself for a tiring match.”
In the bronze medal match, Hong Kong, China overcame surprise packages Thailand 2-0, with junior world number one Doo Hoi Kem easing past Tamolwan Khetkhuan 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-5) and Hung Ka Tak beating Padasak Tanviriyavechakul 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10).
“[This team medal] is more meaningful because we practised for a long time in Hong Kong,” said Doo after collecting her second medal of Nanjing 2014.
“The team event means more because there are two people and it also wasn’t easy for him [Hung]. He was under a lot of pressure. He played really well today. For him to survive the last game wasn’t easy,” he added.

Last Updated: 14 August 2014
Hits: 1073

In its fight against corruption in sport, the International Olympic Committee has developed several information and education tools for athletes and coaches, including the Play Fair game, which specifically targets young people at the Youth Olympic Games. An online interactive and educational programme, it teaches them about corruption, betting and competition-fixing and provides tips on how to safeguard the integrity of sport and speak out against those involved.

In Nanjing, the young athletes are invited to stop by the IOC’s “Play Fair” booth to participate in the “Play Fair” game and take part in short, play-based educational workshops with Athlete Role Models, which will enable them to participate in ethically challenging situations and experiment with different actions and outcomes.

You can also play your part and contribute to the fight for clean competitions. Have a look at this poster to learn what to do in one glance: Click here for the four Do's to protect your sport!

For more information on the risks of cheating and betting, visit: www.olympic.org/playfair

Do your best. Protect your sport. Play Fair!