Worldwide Olympic Partner Atos has celebrated the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace with the launch of a new virtual challenge that is aimed at inspiring its employees to remain active, connected and #StrongerTogether during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Great Atos Global Expedition (GAGE) will also help build excitement ahead of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as it challenges participants to virtually travel 2,021km across the host country of Japan.
“Our mission is to not only ensure the celebration of the Olympic Games, but also encourage healthy lifestyles and universal access to sport. It is good to see so many of you committed to virtually reaching Tokyo through your favourite sport and being active together with your colleagues. This new Atos initiative is an excellent illustration of how we can bring the Olympic spirit into the digital age. Atos’ exemplary team spirit and your determination will make this journey a fantastic experience, but also help you to be “Stronger Together”. Atos and the IOC have been on a journey together for more than 30 years. Together, and in the spirit of solidarity, we can achieve so much more,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
As part of the challenge, teams of up to 10 people will have four weeks to complete the full distance together, with employees able to connect their GPS fitness-tracking apps or enter their activities manually. Every time a team member completes a run, walk or other activity, the distance they have covered will be added to their total.
As well as encouraging employees to stay active, the GAGE challenge will also enable them to raise money for charities through sponsorship, while reinforcing social bonding at a time when many staff members are still unable to gather in their traditional workplace due to the pandemic.
The virtual challenge will see all participants start at the Makomanai Sekisui Heim Stadium in Sapporo, which hosted the Opening Ceremony and speed skating events of the Olympic Winter Games in 1972. Family, friends and colleagues will then be able to follow their progress online as they virtually travel 2,021km across Japan, passing several notable landmarks before arriving at the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, which will stage the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as the athletics events, during this summer’s Games.
Date Reitsema, Global Director of Employee Experience at Atos, explained: “We are thrilled to be able to organise this first edition of the Great Atos Global Expedition. In these unprecedented times we are going through, it is more essential than ever to reinforce the bond between Atos colleagues. Throughout the month of May, our employees will inspire one another in regular physical activity while travelling through Japan, with the finish line in Tokyo – host city of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games. As Atos employees subscribe to this adventure, they will also have the opportunity to raise money for a charity of their choice.”
Atos has been a key technology provider for the Olympic Movement since 1989, when the company provided services for the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992 Organising Committee, and became the Olympic Movement’s Worldwide Information Technology Partner in 2001. For more than 30 years, Atos and the IOC have been on a journey together, bringing the Olympic Games into the digital age, and in 2020 this partnership was extended through to 2024.
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, celebrated each year on 6 April, is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change and community development, and to foster peace and understanding.