Olympic Day - officially celebrated June 23 - has been recognized each year since 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on June 23, 1894. An International Olympic Committee initiative, Olympic Day's mission is to promote fitness, well-being, culture and education, while promoting the Olympic ideals of fair play, perseverance and respect in every corner of the globe.
"Olympic Day introduces people of all ages to the Olympic Movement, and provides a festive occasion to share the stories and incredible dedication of U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls with the community," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "The USOC is proud to take part and grow this global celebration by spreading the fundamentals of Olympism throughout the United States."
In 2013, Olympic Day activities are being held on six continents with several thousand events worldwide and more than 150 participating National Olympic Committees.
In the U.S., 2013 Olympic Day activities will feature appearances from more than 300 U.S. athletes, including four-time Olympian and 2010 Olympic gold medalist in nordic combined Bill Demong, two-time Paralympic alpine skier Ralph Green,1996 Olympic decathlon champion Dan O'Brien, and three-time Olympic soccer champion Heather O'Reilly.
Among the first and largest Olympic Day events to be celebrated in the U.S. this month is the Alabama Sports Festival in Montgomery, Ala. The June 21 event is expected to host 12,000 participants and feature a special appearance from 1976 Olympic diving champion Jennifer Chandler. Additionally, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America are helping to host the most events by any individual organization with 271 nationwide, followed by USA BMX, which is hosting 217 Olympic Day events at BMX tracks across the country.
Olympic Day events in the U.S. are heavily supported by members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family, and the following member organizations have registered to participate in 2013 Olympic Day activities:
- American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- Community Olympic Development Programs
- Disabled Sports USA
- Dwarf Athletic Association
- Jewish Community Centers
- National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
- National Association of Police Athletic League
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- National Congress of State Games
- National Governing Bodies
- National Recreation and Parks Association
- Olympic & Paralympic Training Sites
- Olympic Training Centers
- Paralympic Sport Clubs
- United States Air Force
- United States Army
- United States Association of Blind Athletes
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Navy
- United States Olympians Association
- US Orienteering Federation
- USA BMX
- USA Dance
- USOC Athletes' Advisory Council
ABOUT THE USOC
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., the U.S. Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.