Ancient olive branch wreath makes new appearance in Rio ceremony

ANA-MPA — An olive branch wreath, known as “kotinos”, made from the branches of the monumental olive tree of Vouves in Crete, the oldest olive tree in the world, made  its fourth public appearance on Friday night with the Greek Olympic team, during the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics.
The olive wreath has previously travelled to Athens, Beijing and London.

“[Kotinos] is a strong symbolic message for ethos and fair play. We send from Greece the message of peace and friendship between peoples which are especially relevant in these days,” mayor of Platania, Yiannis Malandrakis, told ANA-MPA, whose municipality borders with Vouves village where the ancient olive tree stands.

Olympic champions were crowned with olive branch wreaths in antiquity, while at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the wreaths given to the winners were from the branches of the olive tree in Vouves.