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International Olympic Day

JUN 23, 2022

Olympic Day is celebrated each year on the 23rd of June to promote sports activities like runs, exhibitions, music and educational seminars in various countries all around the world. But why is it called the Olympics? Have you ever wondered? Well, it dates back to the time when the Olympic Games were held in Greece to honor Zeus, God of the sky as per Greek mythology. It was organized every four years in Olympia, a small town in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE.

“The rings on the Olympic flag are related to the five continents.”

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The IOC (International Olympic Committee) was founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 who was a French educator and historian. He promoted the idea that sports should be an integral part of student’s life in schools and was active in encouraging the introduction of sports in French schools at the time. He is regarded as the Father of the Modern Olympic Games and was the second president of the IOC. The idea of celebrating International Olympic Day was suggested by Dr. Joseph Gruss, a Czech Republic national surgeon and a gynecology practitioner in 1947 during the 41st session of the International Olympic Committee in Stockholm. He was primarily responsible for IOC instituting an annual Olympic day which was adopted a year later in 1948.

Olympic day marks a day that promotes health, well-being and especially the spirit of sportsmanship. Every four years, all the countries around the globe participate in this amazing event that gives equal opportunity to all the member nations to showcase their strength and belief in sports regardless of age and gender. The first Olympic Games were held in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens in 1896. The Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events. Four years later, India participated as well, represented by Norman Gilbert Pritchard who went on to win two silver medals in athletics during the 1900 Paris Olympics. He won India’s first medal at the Olympics in the 200 meters sprint and the 200 meters hurdles. Norman was the first Asian born to win an Olympic Medal.

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“The modern olympics has been cancelled 3 times, all tied to the world wars”

India first sent a team to the Summer Olympic Games in 1920 and has participated in every Summer Games since then. India has also competed in several Winter Olympic Games beginning in 1964. We have come a long way since then, winning 35 medals in all summer games. But the most dominant side of India was the Men’s Hockey Team which won 11 medals in 12 Olympic Games from 1928 to 1980. The run included eight gold medals of which six were won consecutively from 1928 to 1956. Today, on the occasion of International Olympic Day, let’s thank and celebrate all the athletes that participated and represented their respective countries.

Kudos! Because of you all, the spirit of sports lives on.

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