The Olympic Rings are pictured at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne
The Olympic Rings are pictured at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne
AFP Photo

Tokyo, July 20: The Olympic motto was amended to "faster, higher, stronger - together" during the International Olympic Committee's session in Tokyo on Tuesday as the world waited for the pandemic-hit Games to begin on July 23.

The word "together" after a hyphen has been added to the earlier motto, which was made up of three Latin words -- Citius, Altius, Fortius, translating to "Faster Higher Stronger" in English.

The proposal to include the word together was made by IOC President Thomas Bach, which was endorsed by the body's Executive Board (EB) in April.

Bach had suggested the motto should become "faster, higher, stronger - together" in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The motto now reads 'Citius, Altius, Fortius - Communis' in Latin.

The IOC members unanimously approved an amendment of the Olympic Charter.

During the session, Bach stressed the importance of solidarity within the Olympic Movement and beyond.

"Solidarity is at the heart of everything we do. Solidarity fuels our mission to make the world a better place through sport. Because we can only go faster, we can only aim higher, we can only become stronger, if we stand together - in solidarity."

"Strengthening solidarity in this way also helps us to accomplish our 3,000-year-old mission to contribute to peace through sport. Without solidarity, there is no peace."

The Olympic motto was adopted with the launch of the Olympic Movement in 1894 at the urging of founder Pierre de Coubertin, who wanted a slogan that expressed excellence in sport.

It was also supported by the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee.

Bach was determined to ensure the Olympics takes place this year despite the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When you look at this situation in hindsight today, it may appear like it was smooth sailing. This is far from the truth. Over the past 15 months, we had to take daily decisions on very uncertain grounds.

"We had doubts every day. We deliberated and discussed. There were sleepless nights. Like everyone else in the world, we did not know, I did not know, what the future would hold."

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