This is a beautiful picture of the Olympic Rings logo at the Hong Kong Museum of Art displayed during the Summer Olympics (XXIX Olympiad) that took place in Beijing, China, from 8 to 24 August 2008, the equestrian events of which were held in Hong Kong.
More than 11,000 athletes from 204 nations competed in the event. It shows how important the Olympiads are for the entire peoples of the world hailing from all the five continents and island nations. More than winning medals, the true spirit of the game is participation and celebrating the event as a unique unifying force of the entire humanity as ‘one race’, the human race.
As you know, the original design of the symbol of the Olympic Games consists of five interlinked rings colored blue, yellow, black, green and red on a white background. The five rings represent the five continents, namely, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, North America and South America (Antarctica not included). Though five colors are assigned to the rings, any particular color does not represent any particular continent.
Though designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and adopted in 1914, the Olympic Rings debuted only at the VII Olympiad held in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1920. It should have had its debut in the Summer Olympics of 1916, which was scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany, but had to be canceled because of World War I (1914-1918).
Antarctica is not represented in the rings symbol of the Olympic Games because the continent is considered uninhabited with no participating teams. The only human habitation that can be located in Antarctica is at the research stations of some countries, explorers and adventure tourists, and occasional fishing vessels and others who may be putting up camps.
The island nations are not separately represented in the Olympic Rings, possibly because these countries are included in the list of countries of each continent.
Now the world is eagerly waiting for the 2012 London Olympics scheduled to be held in the United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012, when London will become the first city to host the modern Olympics thrice, London having previously hosted the games in 1908 and 1948.
The Olympic Games have a special place in the history of sports and the history of human civilizations because the first recorded Olympic games dates back to the 8th century BC when the games were held in Olympia in Ancient Greece where it continued to be held till 4th century AD.