International Olympic Day – June 23, 2023

International Olympic Day is celebrated on June 23 each year and was first observed in 1948. The Olympics is the world’s largest international multi-sport event held every four years. Thousands of athletes and sportspersons from all across the world take part in various games and sports. The modern Olympic Games are inspired by the Greek’s ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia, from the eighth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. The first modern Summer Olympic Games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Since its foundation, International Olympic Day has widened its audience and has adapted to various local specificities.

History of International Olympic Day

In 1947, a member of the International Olympics Committee in Czechoslovakia, Dr. Josef Gruss, presented a report about World Olympic Day in Stockholm. Later in the 42nd I.O.C. Session at St Moritz in January 1948, the idea for Olympic Day was adopted. With mutual consultation, June 23 was chosen to celebrate the foundation of the I.O.C. Its motivation was to convey a message to the young people by promoting the idea of sports among them.

In ancient Greece, in honor of Zeus, the father of all Greek gods, a religious festival was held each year. The Olympic Games were part of that festival. It began in 776 B.C. when a cook from the city of Elis won a 600-foot-long foot race. For the first 13 years, it was the only athletic event of the games. Later from 776 B.C., Olympics were held every four years for about 12 centuries.

The day is celebrated to promote and spread awareness about the Olympic Movement, and to encourage more and more people to take part in the Olympic Games. Athletes and sportsmen from almost all nations participate in sports activities, such as runs, music, exhibitions, different sports, games, and educational seminars on the day. The Olympics Day has three pillars — Move, Learn, Detect. The National Olympic Committee encourage the participation of all regardless of their gender, age, social background, etc.

International Olympic Day timeline

776 B.C.
First Olympic Games

The world’s first Olympic Games are held in Olympia, Greece.

1896
First Modern Olympic Games

The world’s first Modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece in 1896.

1920
Olympic Oath

The idea of the Olympic Oath is introduced.

1928
Inauguration of the Olympic Flame

The Olympic Flame or Olympic torch is inaugurated in the Olympic Games in Amsterdam.

International Olympic Day FAQs

Why is International Olympic Day celebrated?

Olympic Day was introduced in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris.

When was the first International Olympic Day celebrated?

The first Olympic Day was celebrated on 23 June 1948.

What is the theme of International Olympic Day?

The Olympic Day 2021 theme is “Stay healthy, stay strong, stay active with the #OlympicDay workout on 23 June.”

International Olympic Day Activities

  1. Learn a new sport

    What other way to celebrate a sports event than to learn how to play a new sport or game activity. Not only can you do it alone, but you can also invite your friends and family to join you.

  2. Watch a games documentary

    Team up with your friends and plan a movie plan about your favorite sport. Or you can watch any documentary about some famous athlete or sportsperson.

  3. Enjoy the interviews of some athletes

    Learn more about athletes like Usain Bolt or Mohammad Ali by watching some of their interviews. Increase your insight about their games and learn more about Olympic athletes.

5 Surprising Facts About Olympics

  1. Gold medals are made of silver

    Though the popular belief is that the gold medals are made of gold, this is not the case.

  2. Olympic Torch Relay is a modern tradition

    The Olympic Torch Relay does not date back to the ancient Olympics but has its root in the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

  3. Two athletes have won for two nations

    Kakhi Kakhiashvili won his gold medals for a Unified team and Greece, while Daniel Carrol won his two gold medals representing Australia and the U.S., both in different years.

  4. Ancient Olympic Games were played nude

    In Ancient Greece, the athletes would run naked in the marathons while competing.

  5. Olympic torch in space

    The unlit Olympic torch has been taken to space multiple times.

Why We Love International Olympic Day

  1. It has a long history

    Olympic Games have a history dating back to the seventh century B.C. With time, the event has evolved a lot. New games, sports, activities, and various other events have been added.

  2. It promotes healthy sport

    One of the major targets of Olympic Day is to encourage young people to take more and more part in games and activities. Why not learn a new sport or engage yourself in some new physical activity?

  3. A symbol of international collaboration

    The five rings of the Olympic Ring represent one continent of the world each. In addition to that, at least one of the colors of the rings is present on flags of all countries of the world.

International Olympic Day dates

YearDateDay
2023June 23Friday
2024June 23Sunday
2025June 23Monday
2026June 23Tuesday
2027June 23Wednesday

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