Why are there 5 Olympic Rings instead of 7?

Have you ever wondered what is the significance of having five rings in the Olympic Symbol? Read to understand more about the significance of the Olympic symbol.

The modern Olympics were started in the year 1896 after the planning of Pierre de Coubertin to bring it back. Since then, it has been held every four years with the exception of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which was postponed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympic Rings express the unity of the five continents

Summer Olympics - Most medals in Olympic Games
Olympic rings

The symbol of the Olympics is a very popular one that encompasses the five rings in the colour – blue, yellow, black, green, and red interlaced with one another. The symbol was designed to represent the five continents of Africa, Asia, America, Europe, and Oceania.

However, the question arises, “Why are there five rings when there are 7 continents in the world?” The answer to this lies in the fact that the majority of the world only recognises 6 continents, combining the continents of Asia and Europe into one. To add to this, there are no indigenous people of Antarctica. Since there is no representation under the flag of Antarctica, it is not included in the Olympic symbol or rings.

As per Olympic Charter, Rule 8, “The Olympic symbol expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.”