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A globe united by sport as IOC celebrates Olympic Day

2018-06-26 09:39:00

23 June, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) calls on everybody to get off the couch and get active in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Olympic Day.

Whether running, cycling, swimming or dancing, millions of people – young and old – across the world are invited by the Olympic Movement to move, learn about the Olympic values and discover new sports.

According to the World Health Organisation, globally one in four adults is not active enough, and more than 80 per cent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. However, as per its Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 released earlier this month, physical activity has unquestionable health, social and economic benefits.

Each year since 1948, the IOC has called upon the Olympic Movement to help promote the importance of movement and leading an active life. From nine nations to over 150 in 2017, Olympic Day festivities have been enjoyed by six million people, playing and participating in sporting and cultural activities, such as fun runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars. This 70th year is gearing up to see even larger participation and activations across the world.

A global movement

National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International and National Sports Federations, Organising Committees for the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, National Olympian Associations, Young Change-Makers and athletes are all playing their part to bring sport and its values to the people and inspire individuals from all walks of life to move and embrace the Olympic spirit.

In the lead-up to 23 June, countries from all over the world have already mobilised to show their support by staging activities in their region.

In Lithuania, a record-breaking 28,000 people, including 40 Olympians, attended their event, while the New Zealand Olympic Committee hosted a spectacular day of sporting discovery for 300 young refugees, giving them a taste of a whole range of sports – from golf and fencing to karate, field hockey and basketball. Israel opted for a more academic activity, conducting a satellite Olympic studies programme within the framework of the 5th International Congress of Exercise and Sports Sciences; and in May, Kosovo celebrated with 5,000 young people, all born in 2008, the year of the country’s independence, taking part in events across seven cities.

Still to come are sports festivals and Olympic runs, from the British Virgin Islands and Bahrain to Botswana, China and France, to list but a few.

Olympians are also participating by providing their time and support. Over the Olympic Day weekend, Australian Olympians will visit schools and community groups to meet with local children after a warm-up ‘Deadly Fun Run’ earlier this week with 140 Indigenous runners near the iconic Uluru.

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