Record participation at Olympic Day 2011
This year’s Olympic Day, celebrated on and around 23 June, got more people active than ever before. Millions of people in all corners of the world put their trainers on to participate in events or accomplish their individual sporting goals. For the first time, everybody was able to share his or her Olympic Day experience via text messages, photos and videos on various social media platforms.
Social media activation
Throughout June, Twitter and Facebook users took part in exciting contests. People who tweeted what they had been up to in terms of sporting activities were eligible to win a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Games, while the IOC’s Facebook fans could win a trip to Lausanne and The Olympic Museum. On YouTube, users who uploaded videos of themselves doing sport were eligible to win a trip to the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012. Finally, in China, a call to action was also sent out on the IOC Weibo microblogging account and the Youku video channel, with various prizes being awarded. Tens of thousands of contributions from people being active were and are still flying in and the winners of the various contests will be announced later in July.
Worldwide educational, cultural and sporting events
The homepage of the IOC’s web site www.olympic.org highlighted all the activities taking place around the globe via a world map, including tweets from high-level athletes like Michael Phelps, and displaying events organised by around 170 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The map received 150,000 views. For instance, the Australian NOC sent 100 Olympians, including Susie O’Neill (swimming) and Georgia Bonora (gymnastics) to schools to talk about their Olympic experiences. In Gambia, several sporting activities were organised for school children with and without disabilities. Chile staged events in all parts of the country and offered many opportunities to discover new sports such as surfing, beach rugby sevens, BMX and paragliding. Japan, which was hit by a devastating earthquake and a tsunami in March, organised a charity concert for more than 2,000 people. The proceeds will benefit projects that use sport as a vehicle to bring relief and hope to the Japanese population. Finland integrated Olympic Day into “Your Move”, a huge mass event that involved 42,000 young people.
Future Olympic host cities leverage Olympic Day
The organisers of the London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games used Olympic Day to get active and excite more people in the country. In Great Britain, 1,900 children, school staff and Team GB athletes joined together in a bid to set a record for the largest number of people to form Olympic rings. Moscow and Sochi were the focal points for the Olympic Day festivities in Russia. In Sochi, the activities included Olympic morning exercises, an Olympic class with the ambassador of Sochi 2014 and Russian bobsledder Aleksey Voevoda, sport contests, and a swimming race of students from sports schools. Around the Sochi beach, a graffiti festival was organised for young people to promote the Olympic values. In Brazil, lectures, sports practice, seminars and cultural presentations were organised in several cities across the country, and about 800,000 people joined in a virtual Olympic Day Run.