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  • Olympic Day Celebrated Worldwide


    IOC president Jacques Rogge held a gala evening in celebration of Olympic Day. (Getty Images)
     NOCs Stage Olympic Day Celebrations; Host Cities Mark the Event

    National Olympic committees around the world are celebrating Olympic Day with activities geared towards encouraging participation in sport and spreading the values of Olympism.

    IOC staff in Lausanne marked the annual event by participating in an Olympic Day run of several kilometers from the Olympic Museum to the IOC headquarters in Vidy. And IOC President Jacques Rogge held a gala evening last Thursday to include many of the 93 IOC members who were in the city for the 2016 bid city briefings.

    This year, Olympic Day activities are themed around ‘Move, learn, discover’. The IOC launched the initiative to encourage NOCs to organize a wider range of activities such as sporting and educational programs in addition to the traditional Olympic Day run first introduced in 1987. A start-up kit offering tips and ideas was sent out to all 205 NOCs in March.

    More than 150 NOCs, with the support of Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s, are celebrating Olympic Day on or around June 23. The range of sporting and cultural activities are expected to attract anywhere from 100 to 100,000 participants.

    The NOC of Costa Rica is running a two-day event featuring introductions to Olympic sports such as fencing, judo, basketball, archery and table tennis as well as an Olympic Day run and various activities targeting youngsters.

    The Brazilian NOC is planning a full week of celebrations led by 11 of its Olympic athletes.

    In New Zealand, a celebration at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium commemorated 100 years of the country’s Olympic history, honoring athletes who have represented their nation in sport at the highest level. Speakers included Mike Stanley, the 1984 Olympic Games rower who heads the NOC. Thousands of schoolchildren also took part in an Olympic Day run today.

    All but nine of New Zealand's 1,111 Olympians were located ahead of the event. Around 580 of them or members of their family will attend one of 17 functions being staged around the country this week. They will all receive an Olympic pin and a commemorative certificate.

    Olympic Day was also celebrated in many other parts of the world. In Brunei on the Malaysian island of Borneo, Prince Sufri Bolkiah, president of the independent state’s NOC, joined around 1,500 participants in an Olympic Day run to promote sports activities.

    London Olympic Day

    In London, organizers of the 2012 Olympics and tier-one sponsor BP used Olympic Day to launch publicity for the 2009 edition of London 2012 Open Weekend. London 2012 chair Sebastian Coe took part in the launch at Trafalgar Square.

    Scheduled for July 24-26, London 2012 Open Weekend is a nationwide collection of events involving arts, culture and sport. BP is the premier partner for the Open Weekend, which is to be held every July leading up to the Games.

     LOCOG says more than 700,000 people participated in the 2008 Open Weekend.

    Samsung Launches 2010 Olympic Ad Campaign

    Olympic sponsor Samsung marks Olympic Day in Vancouver with the roll out of its marketing campaign for the 2010 Games, while animal rights group PETA plans a protest. No official activities marking the global event are planned by the city of Vancouver or venue communities, West Vancouver or Whistler.

    TOP sponsor Samsung unveils its 2010 marketing campaign at the Westin Bayshore. Canadian hockey greats Wayne Gretzky, Jarome Iginla and Hayley Wickenheiser will be on hand to endorse the campaign.

    PETA demonstrators planned a protest beside the 2010 Games Omega countdown clock at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The group is using a parody of the VANOC logo and mascots in a bid to shut down the seal hunt on Canada's Atlantic coast.

    Meanwhile, Vancouver 2010 Olympic sponsor Hudson’s Bay Company hosts a Winnipeg community barbeque and the Royal Canadian Mint launches a new Olympic bobsledding coin in Calgary. Domestic TV rights-holder CTV will feature Olympic-related programming on Canada AM.

    London Launches Open Weekend

    London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe (center) took part in the launch of the publicity campaign for the London 2012 Open Weekend. (Getty Images)
    Organizers of the next Summer Games used Olympic Day to launch their own London 2012 Open Weekend. A series of events across the country over the July 24-26 weekend are aimed at allowing access to excellence in the arts, culture and sport and to celebrate three years to go until the Olympics open.

    Supported by domestic sponsor BP, the premier partner of the Cultural Olympiad, the weekend features a diversity of events such as a Hip Hop Shakespeare performance in London, learning to sing sessions on the Singing Bus in Belfast, carnival and public theatre in Wales and dance workshops led by disabled and non-disabled dancers. There will also be opportunities for people to try out Olympics sports in different programs across the UK.

    Meanwhile, the British Olympic Association helped facilitate a number of Olympic Day fun runs across the U.K.

    Russian Celebrates with Athletes’ Commission meeting

    Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Games, was among dozens of cities worldwide that staged Olympic Day runs. Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of the organizing committee, led by example.

    At the weekend, he was joined by 2014 staff and representatives from Sochi’s tier one domestic sponsors MegaFon, Rostelecom and Rosneft and TOP sponsors Coca-Cola and Samsung for a run on Olympisky avenue in Moscow. Members of the Russian Curling Team and various Sochi 2014 ambassadors took part.
    “It was only 1 km, but was really important to all the participants as it demonstrated their commitment and willingness and active support for the Olympic Movement,” a Sochi 2014 spokeswoman told ATR.

    Events were also held simultaneously today in Moscow and Sochi. Athletes, youngsters and Sochi residents were invited to take part in an 2014 meter swimming competition in the Black Sea resort. In Moscow, more than 20 current and retired athletes gathered for the first ever meeting of the Sochi 2014 Athletes' Commission that will work with the organizing committee to ensure delivery of an athlete-friendly Games.

    Chernyshenko and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov addressed the commission, which is chaired by four-time Olympic gold medalist and IOC member Alexander Popov.

    “It is symbolic that the first meeting of the Sochi 2014 Athletes’ Commission was held on International Olympic Day – the anniversary of the foundation of the IOC,” said Chernyshenko in a statement.

    “Sochi 2014’s success will depend on the environment that is created for athletes, as it is they who will generate many of the enduring memories of Russia’s first Winter Games.”


    …The British Virgin Islands will hold its annual Olympic Day Run Saturday in three different locations, Tortola and two on Virgin Gorda.

    …Sri Lanka will take part in the Olympic Day Run Sunday when 1000 children will run together in the event.

    …Children in Fiji will participate in celebrations by writing essays and creating art in honor of Olympic Day.

    …The United States Olympic Committee will honor three Olympic gold medalists who participated in the Los Angeles Olympic Games 25 years ago in its Olympic Day celebrations. Hurdler Edwin Moses, basketball player Teresa Edwards and swimmer George DiCarlo will be honored  at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs.

    Written by Mark Bisson, Ed Hula , Bob Mackin and Isia Reaves For general comments or questions, click here.

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