A leaked memo received by GamesBids.com suggests that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) may entertain the idea of adding a sixth ring to their famous and recognizable five-ring logo.
The logo was first introduced by Pierre De Coubertin and adopted for the Olympics at the Olympic Congress in 1914; and it was first used on the Olympic flag that was flown at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium.
The five colors in the rings and the white background were chosen because they included at least one color from every nation’s flag involved in the Olympic Games at the time. According to the Olympic Charter the five-ring symbol “represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.”
The five continents recognized by the IOC are Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and “the Americas” – an amalgamation of North and South America. Some South American members of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) – a body representing national Olympic committees from across North and South America – feel slighted by the long-time indistinction.
Under pressure from some members of PASO, the IOC may be forced to recognize the two continents as separate entities.
One PASO member wrote “…we resent being haphazardly bundled with the North Americans who typically dominate our continental group. It’s time we were recognized on our own merits. We [North and South America] are no more a single continent than Europe and Asia are.”
“When South America and our contribution to the Olympic Games are fairly recognized, our chances of hosting the Olympic Games will increase.”
South America has never hosted an Olympic Games but Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is currently bidding for the 2016 Games. FIFA – the organization behind the World Cup – recognizes six separate continents and had been using that distinction to choose host countries and ensure that each continent is properly represented. That concept of “continental rotation” was recently ended.
“When I look at the map, I see two continents but the IOC leads us to believe we are but one. This must be changed for future generations.”
The memo suggests that an additional ring added to the Olympic emblem representing the separation of North and South America would send a very positive message to disappointed PASO members and the rest of the world. A reorganization within the IOC and national Olympic committees would follow at a later date.
The idea will be discussed in further detail at the next IOC Executive Board meeting and, if accepted, could be implemented in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The change could be easily integrated with London’s dynamic, ground-breaking logo that was introduced with much controversy last year. There is no word on how the rings in the emblem would be reorganized or what color the new ring might be.
Editor’s Note: Interesting idea, but it’s not going to happen. Happy April Fool’s Day to our readers!