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What is Olympic Day?

What is Olympic Day?
©IOC

31/05/2011

On 23 June, Olympic Day is celebrated all around the world: hundreds of thousands of people – young and old – get moving and participate in sporting and cultural activities, such as runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars.  Over the last two decades, the event has helped to spread the Olympic ideals to every corner of the world. 

Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris.  The goal was to promote participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.

Over the last 20 years, Olympic Day has been associated with Olympic Day Runs all over the world. From 45 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the first edition in 1987, today the large majority of the 205 NOCs is joining in. What’s more, many of the participating NOCs are in Africa – proving the event’s worldwide appeal.

Nowadays, Olympic Day is developing into much more than just a sports event. Based on the three pillars “move”, “learn” and “discover”, National Olympic Committees are organising sports, cultural and educational activities. 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 web sites directing people to programmes in their neighbourhood. This makes it easier for everybody to become part of Olympic Day. You can also join in and share your experience via our social media channels - Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

Discover the best photos of Nanjing 2014

  • Closing Ceremony

    Scene from the closing ceremony of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Aug. 28, 2014.

  • Closing Ceremony

    Scene from the closing ceremony of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Aug. 28, 2014.

  • Closing Ceremony

    Scene from the closing ceremony of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Aug. 28, 2014.

  • Closing Ceremony

    Scene from the closing ceremony of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Aug. 28, 2014.

  • Closing Ceremony

    Scene from the closing ceremony of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Aug. 28, 2014.

  • Closing Ceremony

    Scene from the closing ceremony of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, Aug. 28, 2014.

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