The 70th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Olympic Day on 23 June saw the latest cycle of Young Change-Makers (YCMs) mark the milestone with a series of exciting events in diverse locations, from Brazil to Austria, Chile and Russia.
An annual, global celebration of the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, this year’s Olympic Day provided the perfect opportunity for the IOC’s 83 newest YCMs to help organise activities promoting the positive role of sport in society.
The YCMs travel to Argentina in October for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018. The theme of this year’s Olympic Day was United By, recognising the people who make sport happen in their local communities.
In Brazil, YCM Guilherme Moraes took part in an event organised by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) at the Olympic Park, attended by 360 students from schools in Rio de Janeiro. The youngsters were given the chance to try judo, wrestling, badminton, fencing, field hockey and rugby.
Olympic beach volleyball gold medallist Emanuel Rego was in attendance to talk to the children about his experiences in elite sport.
A trio of current and former Russian YCMs – Jane Konovalova (YOG Buenos Aires 2018), Olga Ponomar-Becker (YOG Nanjing 2014) and Alexander Pavlov (Winter YOG Lillehammer 2016) – marked Olympic Day with an anti-doping conference in Moscow to educate young athletes about clean sport.
In Austria, YCM Anna-Maria Pollany was involved in a series of events which saw children aged between four and 18 invited to six high-performance centres to learn about the Olympic Movement and undergo sports medical tests.
Young people were also the main focus in Chile, as YCM Sofia Machado Paonessa witnessed schoolchildren from Santiago attend sporting demonstrations at the Chilean Olympic Training Centre.
Badminton, field hockey and table tennis were all on show, while the youngsters were able to use the Centre’s treadmills and static bicycles to “donate calories” as part of the event’s Burn To Give initiative.
The Olympic Day celebrations organised by the NOC in Turkey saw 500 children, half of them Syrian refugees, offered the opportunity to play basketball, archery, darts and bocce, as well as try rope ladder and wall climbing.
Turkey’s YCM Murat Madan was on hand to encourage the hundreds of youngsters, alongside former national women’s basketball captain Nevriye Yilmaz, Olympic pentathlete İlke Özyüksel and national karateka Eren Akkurt.
Other Olympic Day events included sport summer camps in Ukraine, attended by YCM Yuliya Levchenko; a spectacular concert in the National Stadium in Tashkent for 35,000 people, including Uzbek YCM Shakhzod Akhrorov; and a demonstration of fencing watched by Korean YCM Gee Won Yoo.