2021 Tokyo Olympics Children

Celebrating the International Olympic Day

About 125 years ago, the city of Athens, Greece, was gearing up to host the first-ever Modern Olympic Games — 1503 years after the last ancient Games!

Two years before the official commencement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was established by Pierre Coubertin, in Paris in 1894. Its primary function is to conduct, promote, and regulate the modern Olympic Games. During World War I, its headquarters was moved to Lausanne in Switzerland, where it remains to this day.

In January 1948, at the 42nd IOC Session in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the IOC decided to commemorate the “birthday” of the Olympic movement by establishing the International Olympic Day. That year, nine National Olympic Committees (NOCs) — Austria, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela — each hosted their own ceremonies.

In 1987, the Olympic Day Run was introduced as part of the celebrations to encourage more NOCs to participate and also promote the idea of participation in sport by all, irrespective of age, gender, nationality, and athletic ability. The first Olympic Day Run was held over a distance of 10 km, with 45 participating NOCs.

Today, the Olympic Day Run is usually held between June 17 and June 24. It comprises a 1.5 km Olympic Day Fun Run, 5 km, and 10 km running activities.

Over the years

In recent years, the Olympic Day celebrations include more than just the run and other sports activities. Countries are simultaneously using cultural and educational activities to raise awareness about sports and unity.

For example, some NOCs organise meetings for children and young people with top athletes, some have developed websites with information regarding sporting programmes in their neighbourhood and, some have even been able to incorporate Olympic Day events in the school curriculum.

World Olympic Day 2021

Celebrating the International Olympic Day

The theme this year was ‘Stay healthy, stay strong, stay active with the Olympic Day workout on June 23’. In keeping with the theme, athletes from around the world united to perform live workouts for 24 hours together. The Olympic Channel brought out a home workout video especially for the occasion, featuring a line up of Olympic stars including American gymnast Laurie Hernandez, French biathlete Martin Fourcade, British taekwondo athlete Lutalo Muhammad, Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat and shuttler P.V. Sindhu.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:29:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/run-for-glory/article35401138.ece

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