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The olympic Games began over 2,700 years ago in Olympia, in southwest Greece. The Games were part of a religious festival. The Greek Olympics, thought to have begun in 776 BC, inspired the modernOlympic Games (begun in 1896) The Games were held in honour of Zeus, king of the gods, and were staged every four years at Olympia, a valley near a city called Elis. People from all over the Greek worldcame to watch and take part.

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. Theyare linked to represent the athletes of the world who meet at the Games.
The five Olympic Rings were designed in 1913.

Mascots
Since the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, France, each Games has hada mascot. This might be an animal that is native to the country or a human figure that represents the culture of that country. Here are some examples of mascots from recent Games.

Meaning of theColors on the Olympic Flag. 

The following is quoted directly from the IOC: "The five rings represent the five continents. They are interlaced to show the universality of Olympism and the meeting ofthe athletes of the whole world during the Olympic Games. On the Olympic flag, the rings appear on a white background. This flag translates the idea of the universality of the Olympic Movement. Atleast one of the colors of the rings, including the white background, can be found on the flag of every nation in the world." 

The way in which the rings are interlaced has changed since the symbolwas first introduced. They used to be depicted side-by-side, along a shallow arc. They are now drawn in the familiar offset pattern, with three above and two below. They are colored, from left to right:blue (top), yellow (bottom), black (top), green (bottom), and red (top).

The Olympic Flame
The tradition of lighting an Olympic Flame comes from the ancient Greeks. During the Ancient Olympic...
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