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  • Olympic Day Inspires With Massive Virtual Workout


    (ATR) Get active on Olympic Day!

    Tyla Nathan-Wong kicked off the OLympic Day workouts on Instagram.
    That is the message as Olympians worldwide take to Instagram Live leading Olympic Day workouts to inspire all to stay active, stay healthy and stay strong.

    A highly diverse group of athletes, spread across 20 time zones, hosted varied, high-tempo and enthusiastic 25-minute workouts on the @Olympics Instagram channel in celebration of Olympic Day 2020. The workouts each took place at 11 a.m. local time in their corresponding time zones.

    New Zealand Rugby 7’s Olympian Tyla Nathan-Wong kicked off the action from her home in Auckland. The Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist led workout intervals that included shadow boxing, burpees and brief rest breaks in between.

    Multi-sport athlete Pita Taufatofua of Tonga was next to join the global virtual gathering. He motivated followers with a high intensity, home workout involving jumping jacks, lunge knee-ups, squat jumps and speed skaters. The extroverted Tongan, who created quite a stir carrying his country’s flag bare-chested and adorned in only a traditional ta’ovala mat wrapped around his waist at both the Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 opening ceremonies, expressed his ambitions of qualifying for the Tokyo Games in yet a third sport – sprint canoe.

    Taufatofua and Nathan-Wong were among 24 athletes – representing approximately 20 countries and 20 different sports – bringing energy, enthusiasm and encouragement to the all-day Instagram Live virtual workout.

    Pita Taufatofua of Tonga joined in the event.
    Complimenting the Olympic Instagram Live session, an Olympic Day workout video is also being shown on the Olympic Channel and across other platforms involving Olympic champions ranging from Kenya’s 1500m gold medalist Faith Kipyegon to France’s most decorated Olympian, Martin Fourcade as well as Chinese YOG freestyle skiing champion Eileen Gu and Tokyo 2020 hopefuls Dina Pouryounes, a taekwondo athlete hailing from Iran aiming to represent the Olympic Refugee Team, and the USA’s 13-time Paralympic swimming gold medalist Jessica Long.

    The enormous digital workout is also playing out via Twitter as Romanian gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci, U.S. golfer Michelle Wie and Argentine artistic gymnast Federico Molinari also took part. Molinari managed 65 push-ups in 45 seconds and challenged viewers to beat his benchmark and upload personal attempts to Twitter along with the hashtags #OlympicDay and #StayActive.

    Ukraine Olympic rowing champion and IOC Athletes’ Commission candidate Anastasia Kozhenkova also hosted an Instagram team workout session, while proudly sporting a Ukraine NOC Olympic Day 2020 t-shirt.

    “As an Olympic champion, I am pleased to share my experience with youngsters and sports fans,” Kozhenkova said. “I admire Olympic Day as a great opportunity to communicate with the youth and once again share Olympic values”.

    IOC president Thomas Bach offered his encouragement across the IOC’s social media platforms.

    “Let’s get healthy together on Olympic Day,” Bach proclaimed. “Join the live work outs with Olympians across 20 time zones on @Olympics Instagram. Be part of the world’s biggest digital Olympic workout and #stayactive”.

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into lockdown and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the IOC says nearly 5,000 Olympians have engaged with a remarkable 243 million people online across more than 50 countries as part of its #StayStrong, #StayActive, #StayHealthy campaign by sharing daily workouts and uplifting tips on ways to stay healthy in body and mind.

    “Celebrating Olympic Day may feel very different from all previous years, but at the same time, on this Olympic Day, our message of the power of sport to bring hope and optimism to everyone resonates even stronger,” Bach said.

    NOCs Celebrate Olympic Day

    The Ukraine NOC hosted an innovative large-scale online relay requesting participants to share personal sports videos and stories.

    Ukraine NOC president Sergey Bubka celebrates Olympic Day.
    “Despite the difficult situation in the world, Olympic Day in Ukraine swept all over the country and became a real bright holiday,” said Ukraine NOC president and pole vault legend Sergey Bubka. “Sincere gratitude to everyone who joined our Olympic online relay and shared Olympic values.

    “Together we can overcome all difficulties and the great Olympic history will continue in Tokyo!”

    In the Czech Republic, Olympic Day is typically celebrated with a host of running events involving more than 80,000 people and numerous school children. However, due to social distancing guidelines of COVID-19, the Olympic Run is being postponed until September.

    “Nevertheless, for runners we have prepared an individual challenge that culminates on 23rd June,” said Czech NOC president Jiří Kejval. “The aim is to run and reward oneself with a virtual medal, the purchase of which contributes towards the Olympic Foundation.

    This helps finance sport for children from disadvantage backgrounds and children’s homes. In this way we link in with the Olympic values,” said the Czech IOC member. “In addition, the Czech Olympic Committee team will mark Olympic Day by coming together for sport and exercise.”

    Commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games on June 23, 1894, Olympic Day was established in 1948 and is celebrated to promote participation in sport regardless of age, gender or athletic ability, as well as being an opportunity to celebrate the Olympic values around the world.

    Considering the current world climate as countries strive to keep citizens healthy and return to some form of normalcy as the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the world, Olympic Day 2020 has undoubtedly inspired worldwide, perhaps more than ever in its 72-year history.

    Homepage photo: Tokyo 2020

    Written and reported by Brian Pinelli

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @Brian_Pinelli

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