What is the motto of the Olympics? Explaining Citius, Altius and Fortius

Spectators Barred From Tokyo Olympics Amid Coronavirus Surge
Spectators Barred From Tokyo Olympics Amid Coronavirus Surge

The Olympics is arguably the biggest quadrennial event in sports. Athletes from all over the world compete against each other to finish at the podium and help their country win a medal.

The Olympic games began when the International Olympic Committee was established on June 23 1894 by French educator Pierre de Coubertin. Widely considered the founder of the games, de Coubertin was the one who proposed the idea of organizing a global event with athletes competing from all over the world.

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The official motto of the Olympics is Citius, Altius and Fortius. The meaning of this in English is Faster, Higher, Stronger. de Coubertin first heard this quote from his friend Henri Didon, who was a Dominican priest. Didon had used these words in a school sports meet in 1881. de Coubertin borrowed the quote from his friend and proposed this to be the Olympic motto in 1894 at the time of the creation of the IOC.

What changes are being made to the Olympics motto?

The Olympic motto might change from Faster-Higher-Stronger to Faster-Higher-Stronger together as suggested by Thomas Bach, the current President of the IOC. The proposal for a change will be presented before the Committee, after which a decision on it will be taken.

The next session of the IOC will be from July 20-21 in Tokyo, where several important decisions regarding the motto and also a possible Athletes Commission will be made.

While talking about a possible change in motto, Thomas Bach said:

"I made the proposal to add to the Olympic motto of Faster-Higher-Stronger the word 'Together'. We discussed this idea today at the Executive Board. We will now turn again to the IOC members asking for their comments and then, depending on the outcome of this consultation, may come with the proposal for a change of the Olympic Charter at the IOC session in Tokyo."

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What is the Olympic creed?

Pierre de Coubertin was inspired by the words of the Bishop of Pennsylvania, Ethelbert Talbot. Talbot's phrase was used by de Coubertin in a slightly different form at a British government reception, which went on to become an Olympic creed.

"The most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight, the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well."

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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