Olympic Day
Children participate in Olympic Day. File photo: IOC

International Olympic Day 2022: History, importance, 'move for peace' theme

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Today is International Olympic Day 2022. Every year, on June 23, Olympic Day is celebrated across the world where hundreds of thousands of people – young and old – participate in sports activities, such as runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars.

The idea of celebrating an Olympic Day was adopted at the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz, in January 1948. The chosen date celebrates the founding of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 23 June 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games, the IOC said on its website.

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The first Olympic Day was celebrated that same year on 23 June 1948 and, 30 years later, in the 1978 edition of the Olympic Charter, the IOC recommended that all NOCs organise an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement.

The Olympic Day has often been associated with Olympic Day runs all over the world. First launched in 1987, the runs were about encouraging all NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport.

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“Olympic Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect through four pillars that guide the organisation of Olympic Day activities – move; learn; discover; and together, for a better world,” the IOC said.

This year’s Olympic Day theme

The IOC has called for a “move together for peace” on this year’s Olympic Day.

“This year, as the world continues seeking togetherness, the IOC and the Olympic Movement are highlighting the power that sport has to build a better world, by bringing people together in peace. As part of this, people are encouraged to move together for peace on Thursday 23 June through a range of local physical and digital activities,” the IOC said.

Over 135 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have already registered their commitment to Olympic Day by hosting activities such as Olympic Day runs, outdoor games for families, introductions to new sports, meetings with Olympians and workshops on the Olympic values. Digital initiatives, such as virtual Olympic challenges, online workouts, virtual live chats with Olympians, online quizzes and webinars on the Olympic values, will also be organised around the world, it added.

“Everyone can join in by sharing how they are moving on Olympic Day with #MoveForPeace and #OlympicDay, or discover via their NOC what is planned in their respective areas on 23 June,” the IOC said.

Indian shooter Rajyavardhan Rathore, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Athens Olympics, tweeted on Olympic Day with the hashtag #MoveForPeace.

“I remember the emotions when I kissed my silver medal at Athens Olympics 2004. As my Indian Army has inculcated the passion in me that we fight to win, I achieved. Life is a #Agnipath where success is waiting for #Agniveers. Go ahead, the sky is the limit for you. #MoveForPeace #OlympicDay (sic),” Rathore, a former Union sports minister, said.

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