On June 23rd, 1894 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formally established and with it, the creation of the modern Olympics movement. The IOC was established by Pierre de Coubertin in Paris, and the first modern Olympics were held 2 years later in Athens, Greece.
Coubertin became the second IOC president and helped run the Olympic movement from 1896 to 1925. While Olympic Day was not formally established in his lifetime, the Olympic values that Coubertin laid the groundwork for became ingrained in the movement. In order to promote the future and celebrate the past of the Olympic movement, the IOC established Olympic Day as a birthday celebration for the Games.
The first official Olympic Day saw 9 countries host events and it has since grown into a worldwide celebration that is held annually at the beginning of every summer on or around June 23rd. The celebration is designed to encourage youth from around the world to participate and advocates for Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect. In 1987, Olympic Day runs were established and now there are thousands of community athletic events around the globe to promote the 3 pillars of Olympic Day- move, learn and discover. Youth can participate in all types of event events, from BMX, and boxing, to running and fencing, and often times local Olympians participate as well.
Last year, 1,055 Olympic Day events were hosted across the United States. Creating an Olympic Day event or finding an event in your community is easy! Click here to learn more. Every event will receive a complimentary tool kit, Olympic Day flag and Team USA stickers along with the opportunity to host an Olympian or Paralympian at their celebration! Get active and let’s make this year’s Olympic Day the biggest celebration ever by joining an event near you!