Last modified: 2005-10-01 by
Keywords: olympics | proposal flags | antwerp | lost |
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by Ivan Sanche, June 16, 2003.
In 1956, an Australian sent to the International Olympic Committee a letter suggesting the athlets from the different nations should mix together during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. The suggestion was accepted. Based on this precedent, people have sent to President of the IOC Jacques Rogge ten proposals of improvements of the Olympic Games.
Deals with the flag. The traditional flag of the IOC should be amended by adding an orange ring around the five rings symbolizing the five continents. This "sixth ring" would symbolize the Earth, on which live all the athlets. Orange would symbolize "a new planetary dawn standing for the unity of all nations".
Deals with the opening ceremony. For each participating nation, the national flag would be borne by a man and the new Olympic flag by a woman.
Deals with the jersey. A jersey with the new Olympic emblem would be worn by the volunteers and those athlets who would enjoy it. This would be a means to decrease chauvinism.
Deals with the medal ceremony. The Olympic anthem would be played instead of the winner's national anthem in order to honour all the competitors. [Nothing is said on flmag hosting. Moreover, ceremonies with always the same anthem played would be very boring].
The other proposals are not flag related. They deal with mixing of the sexes and new kinds of competition, including mixed and backwards (marathon!) races. The authors of the proposals seems to be great advocated of mixing of the sexes and backwards sport.
Posted by Ivan Sache, June 16, 2004.
From: http://www.backward-running-backward.com/olympicfrench.htm (In French, but also available in other languages).
I can't say about the following ten suggestions, but the one above concerning the closing ceremony is true. The letter was written by a teenage boy of Chinese heritage living in Melbourne. His idea was to diffuse tensions among nations during the Cold War, by having all nations marching as one team. This guy, now in his sixties and currently lives in Romania, but is still far from forgotten...
Miles Li, June 16, 2004.
Do we know yet if the Antwerp flag (the official one that went from Antwerp 1920 to Seoul 1988 and was then replaced) has been found again? It was reported missing a couple of years ago!
Herman de Wael, June 17, 2004.
Not quite correct. The real story was that the original Antwerp 1920 flag went missing, so they had to make a replacement for the 1924 games. That was in use until the 1988 games. By then it had become quite 'old and frail', so another replacement was made for the 1992 games. As for the missing 1920 flag, it was actually stolen as a souvenir (by an American athlete, IIRC), who at long last returned it in person to the IOC a few years ago (around the time of the Sydney 2000 games). The ex-athlete wasn't punished, if only because he's too old to sit out any time in jail ;-)
Miles Li, June 17, 2004.
I am quite certain that the flag that was handed down until 1988 was always referred to as the "Antwerp" flag, made in Antwerp from (I don't remember what) Belgian cloth.
That is quite a different story. This is one of the many Olympic flags that adorned the city in 1920, and it was indeed stolen, and returned, and will now get a pride of honour place in our new museum. Strangely it is the only remaining flag from hundreds that must have been made, but it is not the official one.
The official one has (IIRC) never been seen again since 1988.
Herman de Wael, June 17, 2004.
Hal Haig Prieste, an American athlete at the 1920 Olympic Games, climbed a 15 foot pole and stole the flag that was flying in the stadium. He didn't reveal that he had the flag until 1997. He was flown to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games as a guest of the US Olympic Committee and in a very brief ceremony, at 103 years old, he personally returned the flag to Juan Antonia Samaranch. He died the next year at 104 years of age (2001).
See his obituary at these websites (among many others):
Harvey Abrams, August 26, 2005.