Inspiring athletes and uniting people across the globe, the Olympic rings are one of the most enduring and iconic symbols of the Games. This month the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has unveiled plans for Olympic ‘Spectaculars’ to be displayed in a number of Russian towns and cities.
In advance of the 2014 Winter Games, Spectaculars will be placed along the route of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay in the cities of Kaluga, Ryazan, Naryan-Mar, Perm, Kirov, Voronezh, Astrakhan, Grozny and Sochi. Starting this month, the symbols will continue to decorate these urban centres through to the end of the Olympic Winter Games in February 2014.
Instantly recognisable in shape and colour, the interlinked rings symbolise the Olympic Movement and represent the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from across the world at the Games.
Traditionally, Olympic Spectaculars appear in the host city before the start of Olympic competitions. For example, in 2008, the blue, yellow, black, green and red Rings appeared on the Great Wall of China and during London 2012, they featured on a number of iconic and less well known locations across Great Britain.
For the forthcoming Sochi Games, the installations will be located in popular urban spaces. One example is the Spectacular in Voronezh, which will be situated by the park on one of the oldest squares of the city. Meanwhile, in the Arctic town of Naryan-Mar, the Olympic rings will be presented in the form of an ice sculpture. In the host city itself, an enormous five-ringed metallic structure already welcomes visitors at the main entrance to Sochi International Airport.
The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee hopes that placement of the Olympic rings in different cities will encourage residents and visitors in the regions to experience the atmosphere of the first Olympic Winter Games in the country.