Celebrated every year on June 23 since 1948, Olympic Day provides a moment for everyone to gather and get active with purpose.
Abhinav Bindra, India’s first-ever individual Olympic gold medalist, stressed the need for imbibing the values of Olympians, to empower and allow the young population to inculcate them. I have recalled some touching moments from the Olympics over the years which have stayed with people.
“Whether it is Justin Gatlin bowing down to Usain Bolt as a mark of respect for the greatest sprinter the world has ever seen, or the emotional hug shared between the fiercest of badminton rivals – Carolina Marin and PV Sindhu – after a grueling final at the Rio Olympics 2016. Or Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi deciding to share the gold medal after having tested each other to the limit in an exhausting two-hour competition and still not managing to best each other in the men’s high jump final at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“Moments like these remain etched in our memories and stay with us long after we’ve even forgotten who won and who lost. On this International Olympic Day, I want to stress upon the need for imbibing the values of our Olympians, to empower and allow the young population to inculcate (them),” Abhinav Bindra said.
The Olympic Games are much more than just about winning, they’re about getting better, & inspiring rivals & friends… https://t.co/jq7FRCzOGR
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) 1655964450000
Indian track and field legend PT Usha recalled her pride on representing India at the Olympics. “One of the biggest moments for any athlete to represent their country at the @Olympics. Proud to have done that for India. Happy #OlympicDay!” she tweeted.
One of the biggest moments for any athlete to represent their country at the @Olympics. Proud to have done that for… https://t.co/NOmIZb3bmZ
— PT USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) 1655971183000
Recently-retired tennis icon Leander Paes, a record seven-time Olympian and Atlanta 1996 bronze medallist, wrote: “Excellence, respect and friendship! These are the incredible values the #OlympicGames teaches us. Proud to have achieved the world record for India for participating in 7 #Olympics and to have won a medal @Olympics. #OlympicDay.”
Excellence, respect and friendship! These are the incredible values the #OlympicGames teaches us. Proud to have ach… https://t.co/jlu9bN4YCb
— Leander Paes OLY (@Leander) 1655969643000
The idea of celebrating an Olympic Day was adopted at the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz, in January 1948. The chosen date celebrates the founding of the IOC at the Sorbonne, Paris, on June 23, 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games.
The first Olympic Day was celebrated that same year on June 23 and 30 years later, in the 1978 edition of the Olympic Charter, the IOC recommended that all NOCs organize an Olympic Day to promote the Olympic Movement.
Over the last 20 years, Olympic Day has often been associated with Olympic Day runs all over the world. First launched in 1987, the runs are about encouraging all NOCs to celebrate Olympic Day and promote the practice of mass sport.