Lausanne, 23 June 2020 - The traditional annual celebration of sports and Olympic values on 23 June - International Olympic Day 2020 - in the current world pandemic situation has once again contributed to the reminder of the birth of the modern Olympic Games - June 23, 1894.
In its 72nd edition (founded in 1948), Olympic Day once again served for promoting the idea of participation of all people in sports activities, regardless of age or gender differences and athletic ability, uniting the entire sports Globe this year via the Internet. Athletes and sports fans around the world have been active in the largest 24-hour virtual Olympic training, coordinated for broadcasting at the same time through 20 time zones (live at @olympics Instagram). Numerous prominent athletes responded to invitation for participation, including not only the Olympic medalists, but also Olympic hopes - from Japan and New Zealand to Alaska and South America.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the World to postpone sports competitions, including the Tokyo Olympics2020, there were around 5,000 Olympians intrigued by incredible 243 million people participating in social media in more than 50 countries, running campaigns #StayStrong, #StayActive, #StayHealthy, sharing daily exercises and tips for maintaining physical and mental health. International Olympic Day 2020 has taken this campaign to a new level.
- The celebration of Olympic Day can be experienced very differently compared to the previous years, but at the same time, on this Olympic Day, our message on the power of sports that gives everyone hope and optimism resonates even more. In these difficult times, more than ever before, we need the values of sport, our Olympic values - excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity. The Olympic flame can be the light at the end of the dark tunnel we are all in now. On Olympic Day, we are sending everyone this Olympic message: stay strong, stay active, be healthy - says the message of the IOC President Thomas Bach.
The entire Olympic movement was mobilized to join the networking activities on 23 June. The IOC and its partners, including the organizing committees of Tokyo Olympics 2020, Beijing Olympics 2022, Paris Olympics 2024 and Los Angeles Olympics 2028 and the Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics 2026, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), international sports federations and the World Olympic Games partners invited and encouraged fans to get involved in virtual trainings.
A compilation video of exercises performed by 23 Olympians from around the world will soon be available on the Olympic Channel (olympicchannel.com/olympicday).
Due to anti-pandemic measures, the activities related to the celebration of the International Olympic Day were held in Croatia in late May and early June. Organized by the Croatian Olympic Academy (HOA), people ran, walked, skated and rode bicycles on a 6.3-kilometer section at Zagreb's Jarun. However, the Olympic Day itself (23 June) was an inspiration to athletes and recreationists throughout Croatia for their commitment to exercise, especially outdoors. In this way, they were part of the planetary celebration of Olympism and Olympic values. (IOC/COC/VK)