Olympic Day 2022: #MoveForPeace
Celebrated every year on 23 June since 1948, Olympic Day provides a moment for everyone to gather and get active with purpose.
This year, as the world continues seeking togetherness, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Movement are highlighting the power that sport has to build a better world, by bringing people together in peace. As part of this, people are encouraged to move together for peace on Thursday 23 June through a range of local physical and digital activities.
Over 135 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have already registered their commitment to Olympic Day by hosting activities such as Olympic Day runs, outdoor games for families, introductions to new sports, meetings with Olympians and workshops on the Olympic values. Digital initiatives, such as virtual Olympic challenges, online workouts, virtual live chats with Olympians, online quizzes and webinars on the Olympic values, will also be organised around the world.
Everyone can join in by sharing how they are moving on Olympic Day with #MoveForPeace and #OlympicDay, or discover via their NOC what is planned in their respective areas on 23 June.
Founded as a day to celebrate the Olympic values
Olympic Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect through four pillars that guide the organisation of Olympic Day activities – move; learn; discover; and together, for a better world:
- Move encourages people of all ages and abilities to get active on Olympic Day – taking part in the Olympic Day Run and other local activities.
- Learn promotes the role of sport in society and the Olympic values, highlighting the role played by physical activity and sport in improving social conditions.
- Discover is all about people trying new sports and activities they’ve never tried before – in the company of local clubs, athletes and even Olympians.
- Together, for a better world invites people to unite for the Olympic values, making Olympic Day a global moment of activity and connection. Introduced for 2022, the new pillar allows for a focus on a specific message each year. This year, the message is “Together, for a Peaceful World”.
Olympic Day celebrates the revival of the Olympic Games
The idea of celebrating an Olympic Day was adopted at the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz, in January 1948. The chosen date celebrates the founding of the IOC at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 23 June 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games.
The first Olympic Day was celebrated that same year on 23 June 1948 and, 30 years later, in the 1978 edition of the Olympic Charter, the IOC recommended that all NOCs organise an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement.
Over the last 20 years, Olympic Day has often been associated with Olympic Day runs all over the world. First launched in 1987, the runs were about encouraging all NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport.
A celebration for every country
To celebrate Olympic Day, NOCs put on a wide range of sports, cultural and educational activities aimed at everybody – regardless of age, gender, social background or sporting ability.
Every celebration in every country is different. While more than 100 countries host their own Olympic Day Run each year, the IOC also invites NOCs to create their own Olympic Day activities. NOCs on all continents continue to find new and exciting ways for athletes and Olympians to come together with schools, families and the wider public to explore the Olympic values, discover new sports and get active.
Some countries have incorporated the event into school curriculums and, in recent years, many NOCs have added concerts and exhibitions to the celebration.
From Austria to Venezuela, nine countries took part in the first Olympic Day in 1948. From these humble beginnings, a total of 170 NOCs around the world have gone on to organise Olympic Day celebrations in recent years. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than three million people in 116 countries celebrated Olympic Day in 2021.
Highlights in 2021 included the following:
- Australia launched “Have a Go”, a campaign encouraging teachers to help young students celebrate the Olympic Games in the classroom – because “great things happen when you have a go”.
- Barbados organised an entire week of Olympic Day celebrations, including a tree-planting ceremony to support the IOC’s commitment to sustainable development.
- Great Britain allied its festivities to its new Get Set youth engagement programme, which supports families and schools with a view to getting active while learning about the Olympic values.
- Kazakhstan presented a nationwide multi-sport relay – including a climbing competition in Almaty, a cycling race in Petropavl, athletics in Ust-Kamenogorsk, and boxing and judo masterclasses in Aktau.
- Mali celebrated the three values of Olympism – excellence, friendship and respect – and promoted the prevention of doping in sport.
This year’s programme promises a huge variety of events all over the world. Check your local NOC’s channels to see what’s happening where you are on 23 June – and come together for a peaceful world.