Thursday, June 20, 2013

Olympic Day!

Join in the fun on June 23, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Movement celebrate the 65th annual Olympic Day! The first Olympic Day was held on June 23, 1948 with nine Olympic Committees hosting their own celebrations, with Canada being one of the original participants. Today over 4,000,000 people celebrate this day worldwide.

How did it all begin?

Due to WWII, the Olympic Games had not been held in 1940 or 1944 so the city of London rose to host the XIV Games after the war. In January 1948, the International Olympic Committee, (mainly due to the efforts of Pierre de Coubertin), approved the idea of Olympic Day as a sort of “birthday” of the Olympic Movement. This day is meant to inspire people to adopt and apply the Olympic Values (excellence, fun, fairness, respect, personal growth, leadership and peace).

Can I host my own Olympic Day event?

Yes, you can! Designed to guide you in every step of your event, the Olympic Day Toolkit contains practical information and advice for the preparation and staging of your Olympic Day. It includes the following:
  • Introductory remarks from the International Olympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Committee;
  • A brief background of Olympic Day, which will assist you particularly in the promotion of your event;
  • Ideas and material to enrich your educational and cultural workshops;
  • Tips for the promotion and communication of your event; and
  • Suggested modified activities promoting the Olympic Games sport programme. 
If you, your school, your organization or anyone you know is interested, please take a closer look at the Olympic Tool Kit available at

Are there any events in the area?

Canadian Olympians and Paralympians participated in an Olympic Fair at the Richmond Olympic Oval June 17, 2013 with over 3,000 local students.

If you would like to join in the celebrations, an Olympic Fair will be held in Ottawa on June 22, 2013 on Rideau Grounds and will be in conjunction with the CHEO Teddy Bear Picnic. Participants are encouraged to stop by the Olympic tent to listen to Olympic athletes and coaches speak about their experiences as well as joining in the multiple sports and activities that will be available.

All you have to do for Olympic day is be active - this event is free of charge, so come out and celebrate with us!

References from the SIRC Collection: 

1. Celebrate Olympic Day. Parks & Recreation. June 2010;45(6):48.
2. Espagnac S. Olympic Day 2000 and a culture of peace. Olympic Review. August 2000;26(34):61-66.
3. Landon C, Leenheer D. Olympic Day Celebrates Coaches. Olympic Coach. Summer2011 2011;22(1):25-26.
4. McFee G. Olympism and Sport's Intrinsic Value. Sport, Ethics & Philosophy. May 2012;6(2):211-231.
5. Run for all: the Olympic Day Run not only commemorates the founding of the IOC, but also enables people who come from diverse origins to meet at an event around the world that celebrates the values and the ideals of the Olympic Movement. Taking place in June 2003, this year promises to attract more participants than ever before. Olympic Review. April 2003;(47):52-53.
6. Olympic Day Run: the World Olympic Day celebration was made an annual event in the Olympic Movement at the 42nd IOC Session in January 1948. The first Olympic Day was celebrated on 23 June of that year with Portugal, Greece, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain, Uruguay, Venezuela and Belguim participating in their respective countries. Olympic & Commonwealth Games. Summer 2002;:21.

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