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 Black Friday, Lifestyle

Turkey contest gives new meaning to ‘all you can eat’

Fresh
chestnut

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut has won a turkey-eating contest, setting a record by devouring an entire bird.

in Lifestyle

Pope declares sainthood of 2 Indians, 4 Italians

Fresh
pope

Pope Francis conferred sainthood on six people on Sunday, praising their "creative" commitment to helping the poor.

in Entertainment

Natalie Dormer wants more nudity in ‘Game of Thrones’

Fresh
nataliedormer

The "Game of Thrones" star wants more male nudity in the raunchy medieval-fantasy series.

in Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: Odell Beckham’s amazing catch

Fresh
11-overlay3

It could be the greatest catch of his career: Watch Giants' wide receiver Odell Beckham pull in a TD with just one hand.

in Lifestyle

SPECIAL SECTION: See the latest Black Friday deals

Fresh
walmart

Check out the latest leaked ads and make a game plan to tackle your holiday shopping.