Over 1,500 students packed into the Richmond Olympic Oval on Friday June 9th to celebrate International Olympic Day 2017.
Officially held on June 23rd, Olympic Day commemorates the founding of the modern Olympic Games with sport-related festivities taking place around the world. The goal of Olympic Day is to promote Olympic values and participation in sport regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.
Delegates from various provincial sport organizations were on hand at the Oval to introduce students to their respective sports through a range interactive activities. Students were able to test their skills in many sports including snowboarding, wheelchair basketball, rock climbing, ringette, futsal, fencing, and rhythmic gymnastics, amongst others.
Each participant received a physical literacy passport to complete by collecting stamps indicating that they had taken part in the corresponding movement skill at one of the physical literacy stations.
Students also had the opportunity to meet with their favorite Olympic heroes inspiring the next generation to lead healthy, active lives through sport. Former Canadian Olympic athletes in attendance included:
- Mathieu Bilodeau, Rio 2016, Athletics
- Joanie Caron, Rio 2016, Para Cycling
- Will Dean, two-time Olympian, Rowing
- Alex Duckworth, Sochi 2014, Snowboard
- Greg Edgelow, Barcelona 1992, Wrestling
- Joy Fera, Montreal 1976, Rowing
- Jenn Heil, three-time Olympian, Freestyle Skiing
- Andre Ho, London 2012, Table Tennis
- Mira Leung, Turin 2006, Figure Skating
- Margaret Langford, four-time Olympian, Canoe/Kayak
- Danielle Lappage, Rio 2016, Wrestling
- Ben Martin, Rio 2016, Field Hockey
- Douglas Vandor, two-time Olympian, Rowing
- Ken Whitehead, Montreal 1976, Football
For more information on how to bring the Olympic movement to your school or community please visit the Canadian Olympic Club website.
History of Olympic Day
It was in 1947 during the 41st Session of the International Olympic Committee in Stockholm, that Doctor Gruss, IOC member in Czechoslovakia, presented a report on a World Olympic Day celebration which would primarily be a day of promoting the Olympic idea. The project was adopted some months later on the occasion of the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz in January 1948. The National Olympic Committees were put in charge of organizing this event and were requested to choose a date between 17 and 24 June, thereby celebrating the foundation of the International Olympic Committee at the Sorbonne, Paris, on 23 June 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin obtained the revival of the Olympic Games.