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Some information about the games –
Credit : http://getset.london2012.com/en/the-games/about-the-olympic-and-paralympic-games/games-symbols-and-mascots
The Olympic Flame is lit for the whole of the Games. This tradition started with the Ancient Greeks who used a flame that they lit from the sun’s rays at Olympia, the site of the first Games. The flame is still lit from the sun’s rays in Olympia, which is then used in the Olympic Torch Relay. When it arrives at the stadium, the Olympic Cauldron is lit. The flame stays lit for the whole of the Games.
Unlike the Olympic Flame and its links to Olympia in Greece, the Paralympic Flame has no historical home, so each Host City can choose a lighting site that is important to their nation.
In Australia, the flame was lit in front of Parliament House in Canberra. The Paralympic Flame then toured Australia’s capital cities until it arrived at Stadium Australia for the Opening Ceremony.
The Olympic Rings
The Olympic Rings represent the five major continents which come together for the Games. These are Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. They are linked to represent the athletes of the world who meet at the Games.
The five Olympic Rings were designed in 1913.
The Paralympic Symbol
The red, blue and green of this symbol are the most widely used in flags around the world. The symbol is in motion, around a centre point.
The IPC at the centre stands for International Paralympic Committee who bring athletes together from around the world. The symbol also shows Paralympic athletes moving forward and never giving up.
The Olympic and Paralympic Flags are raised at the Opening Ceremonies of each Games.
The Opening Ceremony happens on the first day of the Games and the sports stadium is filled with music, singing and dancing. The flag is lowered at the Closing Ceremony at the end of the Games.
On the Olympic Flag, the rings are shown on a white background. There are six colours, including the white, on the flag. When the flag was designed in 1913, these colours represented all the colours in all the national flags from countries who were part of the Olympic Movement.
On the Paralympic Flag, the red, blue and green of the symbol are the most widely used colours in flags around the world.
At the end of the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games, the Mayor of the city that organised them returns the flag to the President of the International Olympic Committee or the International Paralympic Committee, who then passes it on to the Mayor of the next city who will host the Games four years later. This ceremony is known as the ‘Antwerp Ceremony’ because this is where the tradition started.
Did you know?
Athletes from 205 different countries are expected to compete in 26 Olympic sports and 20 Paralympic sports at the 2012 Games!
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