GENEVA, June 19 (Xinhua) — Athletes worldwide will lead a live workout campaign online on June 23, the 73rd Olympic Day, with workout videos of 23 Olympians to be released on the Olympic Channel, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Friday.
Athletes across 20 time zones will give an online workout performance on social media at 11 a.m. local time. Zhang Hong, the first Chinese to win an Olympic speed skating gold medal, will appeal to fans to join her in exercising to keep fit in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
China’s Youth Olympic champion Aileen Gu is among the 23 Olympians introducing their favorite workout moves. Also on the list is Kenya’s 1,500m gold medallist Faith Kipyegon and France’s biathlon legend Martin Fourcade.
“Celebrating Olympic Day may feel very different from all previous years, but at the same time, on this Olympic Day, our message of the power of sport to bring hope and optimism to everyone resonates even stronger,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.
The online celebration will also be supported by organizing committees of future Olympic Games, National Olympic Committees, International Federations, worldwide Olympic partners and rights-holding broadcasters. China’s Olympic partner Alibaba will support a ‘#StayStrong’ live stream organized by the Chinese Olympic Committee and Beijing 2022, featuring over 350 Chinese athletes and medallists of different generations.
“With the global coronavirus crisis, all of us are living with much uncertainty about the future. In these difficult times, we need the values of sport, our shared Olympic values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity, more than ever. The Olympic flame can be the light at the end of the dark tunnel that we all find ourselves in now. On Olympic Day, we are sending this Olympic message to everybody. Please stay strong, stay active, stay healthy. In this Olympic spirit, I wish you all a wonderful Olympic Day 2020,” the president concluded.
Commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games on June 23, 1894, Olympic Day was established in 1948 and is celebrated to promote participation in sport regardless of age, gender or athletic ability, as well as being an opportunity to celebrate the Olympic values around the world. ■