A globe united by sport as IOC celebrates 70 years of Olympic Day

23 Jun 2018
IOC News

Today, 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.

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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.

Lithuania NOC

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.

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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.

Kosovo NOC

One of the ways that individuals of all ages and cultures are united is through dance, a global form of movement that is accessible and instinctive. To promote the importance of this kind of movement for sport and health, and ahead of breaking’s Youth Olympic Games debut in Buenos Aires in October, the trending Backpack Kid has choreographed his very own “Olympic Dance” together with the Olympic Channel.

To learn more about the #OlympicDance, visit www.olympicchannel.com

United By Olympism

To mark this year’s milestone, the IOC has launched a campaign with the banner United By in celebration of the power of Olympism to build bridges and bring people together regardless of age, gender, religion, nationality or ability, 365 days a year.

Working to build a unified celebration of Olympic ideas and values, the campaign represents the fact that sport can unite us through passion, teamwork, commitment, loss and victory, and that we are all United By qualities that transcend borders − qualities that make us human. 

To get involved in the United By campaign and to share your Olympic Dance, share your stories and tell the IOC on social media by using the hashtags #UnitedBy, #OlympicDay and #OlympicDance.

Learn more about Olympic Day.

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