Olympic Day commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Games and, based on the three pillars of the move, learn and discover, promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. It all began in 1894 when delegates from 12 countries assembled in Paris on the 23rd June voted unanimously to support Pierre de Coubertin’s proposal to revive the Olympic Games.
The first World Olympic Day was held in 1948 with a total of nine National Olympic Committees (NOC) hosting ceremonies in their respective countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela. Thirty years after, in 1978 the Olympic Charter recommended for the first time that all NOCs organize an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement. The idea of enhancing the celebration by organizing events for a whole week was added to the 1990 version of the Olympic Charter.
The 60th anniversary of Olympic Day was celebrated in 2008. Over the years, it has developed into the only annual worldwide celebration of the Olympic Movement and has helped spread the Olympic values to every corner of the world. Nowadays, International federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) play an increasingly important role in promoting Olympic Day and engaging further audiences.
Moving forward to meet the celebration of Olympic Day this year, the President of the International Olympic Committee Mr. Thomas Bach said:
“Olympic Day allows the whole world to share the joy of sport, get involved in sport and to unite behind Olympic values. In our constantly evolving society today, this event is an excellent way to encourage all people to lead healthy and active lives and to promote the role of sport in society. Year after year, all the National Olympic Committees are translating Olympic Day into action around the globe, whether through sporting activities, meet-and-greets with famous athletes, or Olympic-themed concerts and exhibitions.”
Mr. Bach thanked to all for their support bringing the joy of sport to people everywhere around the world and keeping the spirit of Olympic Day alive.
Last year over four million participants on five continents were involved in some activities regarding the celebration of Olympic Day. The event was promoted via IOC communication social media channels and reached over 200 million people. Hundreds of Olympians who took part in the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 were invited to speak about their lives as an athlete in front of the thousands of kids.