Olympic Motto: History, Evolution & More

Ashley | 24 - 01 - 2022
Olympic Motto

Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator, and historian reintroduced the Olympics games in 1896. The athletic games were held from April 6-15 and Coubertin went on to form the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to manage the Olympiad games. 

Original Olympic Motto

The origins of the Olympic motto trace back to 1924. Baron Coubertin was determined to introduce sports in French Schools. Henri Didon, a Dominican priest was the inspiration behind the Latin motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius”. Didon was an avid sportsman and Coubertin’s close friend, he used the phrase to motivate his pupils. “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is the meaning of the Olympic Motto. The IOC introduced the Olympics games motto at the 1924 London Olympics.

Olympic Slogan

Coubertin added a slogan to the Olympics. The slogan was a reproduction of Ethelbert Talbon’s 1908 church sermon. Central Pennsylvania addressed the athletes at the London Cathedral before the London Games. 

What Is the Olympic Motto?
  • A. Creo Quia Absurdum Est.
  • B. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat
  • C. Citius, Altius, Fortius
  • D. Alea Iacta Est.

During his sermon, he mentioned that participating in the Olympics should be the topmost priority rather than winning the game. The ancient Olympics awarded the winners only with wreaths and the joy of participating was shared by all. 

Thus, Talbot stressed the importance of sportsmanship over the rivalry between participating nations. Coubertin added the slogan “The importance of these Olympiads is not so much to win as to take part.” during the 1908 London Games. 

The Motto of the Olympics

The initial Olympics motto and slogan in Coubterin’s voice were played via speakers at every Olympics following the 1908 games. After the 1948 games, the slogan was reduced to scoreboards. The slogan went obsolete and the motto’s font size was reduced to the bare minimum during the Tokyo 2021 games. The Olympics oath has went through major changes with respect to who iterates it during the event in the past years. A clause on doping was also added to the 101-year-old Olympic Oath. 

New Olympic Motto 2021

Thomas Bach, the current President of IOC introduced the New Olympic Motto 2021, “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”. Bach also added it to the Latin version making it “Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter”. 

Historians argue that “communiter” is not the right word to describe togetherness, the other IOC members haven’t objected to it. The goal behind the change was to motivate the participants during these tough times and to stress the importance of moving forward together.

Read Next