Olympic Day

Olympic Day

Olympic Day History

Background

It was in 1947 during the 41st Session of the International Olympic Committee in Stockholm, that Doctor Gruss, IOC member in Czechoslovakia, presented a report on a World Olympic Day celebration which would primarily be a day of promoting the Olympic idea. The project was adopted some months later on the occasion of the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz in January 1948. The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were put in charge of organising this event and were requested to choose a date between 17 and 24 June, thereby celebrating the founding of the International Olympic Committee at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 23 June 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games.

The first Olympic Day

The first Olympic Day was celebrated on 23 June 1948. On this occasion, Sigfrid Edström, IOC President at that time, conveyed a message to the young people of the world. Portugal, Greece, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain, Uruguay, Venezuela and Belgium organised an Olympic Day in their respective countries.

Olympic Day in the Olympic Charter

In the 1978 edition of the Olympic Charter, the IOC recommended for the first time that all NOCs organise an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement: “It is recommended that NOCs regularly organise (if possible each year) an Olympic Day intended to promote the Olympic Movement.”

Olympic Day Run

The Olympic Day Run can be considered as the core activity of Olympic Day. First launched in 1987, it has been organised by NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport. From 45 participating NOCs in the first edition in 1987, the numbers have grown to more than 150participating NOCs.

Today’s Concept

Today, Olympic Day is developing into much more than a run or just a sports event. Based on the pillars of “Move, learn, discover – Together for a better world”, NOCs deploy sports, cultural and educational activities aimed at everybody – regardless of age, gender, social background or sporting ability. Some countries have incorporated the event into the school curriculum and, in recent years, many NOCs have added concerts and exhibitions to the celebration. Recent NOC activities have included meetings for children and young people with top athletes and the development of new websites directing people to programmes in their neighbourhood. This makes it easier for everybody to become part of Olympic Day. In recent years, the development of social media has helped the IOC to boost participation beyond NOC activities.

More about Olympic Day in our Factsheet

Olympic Day 2022 – #MoveForPeace

In 2022, the new pillar entitled “Together for a better world” was introduced. It includes topics such as sustainability, inclusion, solidarity and peace, aiming to bring people together to contribute to a better world through sport. Each year, the pillar will focus on a different theme that will serve as a common global thread.

2022’s theme celebrates the power of sport to bring people together in peace: a call to action for people to move together, up to and during Olympic Day, to show their united support for a peaceful world.

Sport always builds bridges and brings people together in peace and solidarity. On this Olympic Day, please join us as we call on everyone around the world: give peace a chance.

President Thomas Bach

Thomas Bach, IOC President

Olympic Day news

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  • Comité National Olympique et Sportif Sénégalais IOC News

    Millions join celebrations as NOCs mark Olympic Day around the world

  • IOC President, Thomas Bach attends the Olympic Day celebration at a local school in Skopje IOC News

    Olympic Day 2022: Sport as a bridge in a divided world

  • #Moveforpeace campaign IOC Young Leaders

    IOC Young Leaders using the power of sport to bring people together

  • Olympic Day IOC News

    World of sport set to unite for Olympic Day and move together for peace

  • Olympic Day IOC News

    World’s biggest digital Olympic workout introduces half a billion people to #StayActive on Olympic Day

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    Olympic Day 2020 - the world’s biggest online Olympic workout

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    Stay healthy, stay strong, stay active with the Olympic Day home workout on 23 June

  • IOC News

    Olympic superstars get active in Lausanne for Olympic Day

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    Enjoy Olympic Day!

  • IOC News

    IOC President joins athletes and young people for Olympic Day celebrations in Uzbekistan

  • IOC News

    All you need is you this Olympic Day!

  • YOG

    Celebrate Olympic Day on June 23rd!

  • IOC News

    People across the globe got active for Olympic Day!

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    What is Olympic Day?

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    Olympic Day YouTube winner

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    Social media activating people on Olympic Day

  • IOC News

    Olympic Day in action: snapshots from the continents

Gallery

National Olympic Committee - Nicaragua
The Olympic Day. Race of the adults. <br />If you wish to obtain these Images, please contact <a href="mailto:images@olympic.org">images@olympic.org</a>
© 2010 IOC
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National Olympic Committee - Republic of Moldova
The Olympic Day. Introduction to Fencing. <br />If you wish to obtain these Images, please contact <a href="mailto:images@olympic.org">images@olympic.org</a>
© 2013 IOC
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National Olympic Committee - Yemen
The Olympic Day. Group photo with the banner of the Olympic Day.<br />If you wish to obtain these Images, please contact <a href="mailto:images@olympic.org">images@olympic.org</a>
© 2012 IOC
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National Olympic Committee - Republic of Moldova
The Olympic Day. Taekwondo fight. <br />If you wish to obtain these Images, please contact <a href="mailto:images@olympic.org">images@olympic.org</a>
© 2013 IOC
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National Olympic Committee - Yemen
The Olympic Day. Volleyball match.<br />If you wish to obtain these Images, please contact <a href="mailto:images@olympic.org">images@olympic.org</a>
© 2012 IOC
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National Olympic Committee - Portugal
The Olympic Day. Match of handball. <br />If you wish to obtain these Images, please contact <a href="mailto:images@olympic.org">images@olympic.org</a>
© 2014 IOC
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Case Studies

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