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What is International Olympic Day? Why is it observed? Full details on history, significance and theme for 2023

June 23 marks the International Olympic Day, which is observed annually to commemorate the founding of the IOC. Check out why it is observed, it’s history, significance and theme for 2023.

Last updated: 25.06.2023
What is International Olympic Day and Why is it observed Full details on history significance and theme for 2023

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June 23 marks the International Olympic Day, which is observed annually to commemorate the founding of the IOC. International Olympic Day is celebrated annually on June 23rd, to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. With the Paris Olympics of 2024 being close to 12 months away, focus for athletes around the world will quickly start turning towards the glamor and significance of the Games — but being reminded of, and celebrating the Olympics even in their off-years is an equally important element of the Olympic experience.

Significance of International Olympic Day

The International Olympic Committee was founded by Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the Greek Demetrios Vikelas, who served as its first president. The IOC has been responsible for running the modern Olympic Games since the first edition in Athens in 1896.


The idea for a day celebrating the Olympics was floated in 1947 at the 41st IOC Session in Stockholm, by Czech delegate Dr Joseph Gruss. It was ratified at the following year’s Session in St Moritz, Switzerland, with June 23rd decided as the date given its significance to the IOC.

Goal of International Olympic Day

According to the Olympics’ website, the Olympic Day attempts to “celebrate the values of Solidarity, Inclusion and Sustainability.” The 1978 Olympic Charter saw the IOC request all National Olympic Committees across the world to include a celebration of Olympic Day as part of their own yearly activities.

What is the theme of this year’s Olympic Day?

This year’s Olympic Day carries the theme of “Let’s Move”, trying to instigate a campaign of greater worldwide focus on health in an era where general livelihood is becoming increasingly sedentary and more and more people fail to reach the minimum activity level the body requires in a day, especially amongst youth. It is a campaign the IOC has undertaken in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

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