IOC Presidents and Symbols

Current IOC President
His Excellency Thomas Bach – Germany
2013 to Present

Demetrius Vikelas – Greece
1894 to 1896
Baron Pierre de Coubertin – France
1896 to 1925
Count Henri de Baillet-Latour – Belgium 
1925 to 1946
Sigfrid Edström – Sweden
1946 to 1952
Avery Brundage – USA
1952 to 1972
Lord Lillanin – Ireland
1972 to 1980 
HE Juan Antonio Samaranch – Spain
1980 to 2001
Jacques Rogge – Belgium
2001 to 2013


Designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the Olympic symbol (the rings) represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games in a spirit of fair competition and good friendship. The symbol consists of five interlocking rings: blue, black and red on the top; yellow and green on the bottom. At least one of the colours of the Olympic symbol can be found in the flags of each country in the world. Contrary to popular belief, the colours do not represent the continents. Of the Olympic symbol, Baron Pierre de Coubertin said, 

“these five circles stand for the five regions on Earth that reconcile with Olympism. It is an authentic Olympic symbol”.


The Olympic flag has a white background with no border. The Olympic symbol is centred and is in colour. The Olympic flag was unveiled by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1913 and was adopted by the International Olympic Committee at the Congress of Paris in 1914. It was first used at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games.


The Olympic Motto is “Citius. Altius. Fortius.” and means “Faster. Higher. Stronger.” It expresses the message which the IOC addresses to all who belong to the Olympic Movement, inviting them to excel in accordance with the Olympic spirit. The motto was conceived by Father Henri Didon, an educator and friend of Baron Pierre de Coubertin. It was adopted as the motto at the 1894 Congress which created the International Olympic Committee.