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23 Jun 2010
IOC News

Olympic Day celebrated across the globe

Today is Olympic Day, and people on all continents are practising various sports together, meeting Olympic champions and learning about the Olympic values. Olympic Day, which commemorates the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June 1894, can be celebrated by everybody, everywhere – regardless of age, athletic ability and gender.

On and around 23 June, most of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) try to reach out to as many people as possible by offering sports, cultural and educational activities. Find out here what your NOC is doing this year. 

Snapshots from the continents

In Australia, more than 50 Olympians are returning to schools across the country this week to talk about their Olympic experience and the positive impact of sport on their lives. Olympic kayak sprint champion Ken Wallace has already visited two primary schools, taking along his kayak. He said: “The one thing that struck the kids was that I did not start paddling until I was 16. Most of the students were only 11 year-olds, so they realised that you can participate in sport at any age and continue to have goals throughout your life”. One student said after he had met Ken Wallace: “I learnt that going to the Olympics is not all about being good. It is about being fit, nice, smart and strong, and becoming a caring person”.

Young Ambassadors active on Olympic Day

This year on Olympic Day, the word is also being spread about the upcoming, first ever Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Singapore in August. Hong Kong’s Young Ambassador, Sherry Tsai, is setting up a booth to tell people in the streets about the new event and its spirit, and inviting them to compete against Michael Phelps in the Best of Us Challenge. And Chivinn Chum, Young Ambassador from Cambodia, is speaking to youngsters on the occasion of an Olympic Day Run to tell them about the many benefits inherent to sport.

Learning from Olympians

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Monica was the organisation to sign up for the 200th Olympic Day event in the United States this year. The club invited Khadevis Robinson, a 2004 U.S. Olympian in track & field, who will speak to approximately 100 children, aged 7 to 18, about the Olympic values of friendship and respect and how they apply to everyday life. "Our kids are so excited to hear from Khadevis about his Olympic experience and how sportsmanship has played such a large role in his life," said Brandon LaBrie, Branch Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica. "To hear from a local Olympian means a great deal for the boys and girls at our club”.

New Olympic Youth Development Centre hosts Olympic Day

In Zambia, Olympic Day will be celebrated for the first time in the brand new multi-purpose sports complex which was inaugurated by the IOC in Lusaka last month. More than 1,000 people from the area are expected to participate in a 10km Fun Run, a 5km walk race, a tug-of-war competition, other physical activities for kids and an art exhibition on climate change and sport. 

A run for everybody

In Gjirokastra, Albania, an Olympic Day run was organised for school children as well as the local population. The 400 or so students participating also joined in an educational programme that encouraged discussion about the values of non-discrimination, understanding, solidarity, friendship and fair play.

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