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Olympic Day

The Olympic Day Run is one of the symbols of the Sport for All movement.

Great diversity in participants

Every year since 1987, all over the world, the Olympic Day Run unites men, women and children of all age. Today more than 150 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) organise this great sport event.

1948, the story begins

In January 1948 at its 42nd Session in St Moritz, Switzerland, the IOC approved the idea of an Olympic Day. This celebration would be used to commemorate the creation of the IOC on 23 June 1894 in Paris. Olympic Day was held for the first time on 23 June 1948, with a total of nine NOCs hosting ceremonies in their respective countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Worldwide celebration

More than 40 years later, in 1987, the first Olympic Day Run was organised over a distance of 10 km, with 45 NOCs participating. This initiative was launched by the Sport for All Commission of the IOC, and aimed at promoting the practice of sport around the world. It has become a global celebration of the Olympic Day and contributes to the promotion of Olympic ideals all around the world.

In 2008, after more than twenty years of global success, the Olympic Day Run adapted to the specificities of the NOCs by becoming the 'Olympic Day' again. This worldwide event aims at uniting all promotion and Olympic Day and Olympic valures celebration activities of the NOCs.

Move, learn and discover

Since its inception, Olympic Day has broadened its audience, adapting to the local specificities. Numerous NOCs continue to organise the traditional Olympic Day Run but have diversified their activities around the theme of "Move, learn and discover", by proposing the practice of other sports, cultural and educational activities around the Olympic values, and sessions to discover new sports.

More than three million participants

In 2008, year of the XXIXth Olympiad in Beijing, 3.8 million men, women, childen or senior participated throughout the world to the Olympic Day, mobilising 142 NOCs - proof of an ever-growing popularity.

McDonald's on track

Olympic Day could not take place without the support and collaboration of McDonald’s, which in 2003 became a worldwide partner of the event. Many NOCs team up with local McDonald’s branches to attract more participants.