Park City, UT - This week, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), along with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and clubs around the country are hosting their annual Olympic Day to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games. The annual celebration is an international effort to promote fitness and well-being lending a hand in introducing young people to sports.
From June 17-26, 2011, communities across the United States will be celebrating Olympic Day through character building activities and educational programming to better understand what it takes to be an Olympian. The USOC holds its Olympic Day on June 23 annually and is celebrating with thousands of people in over 160 countries. The USSA along with the Utah Olympic Park will host an event on Saturday June 25th at the Utah Olympic Park with several Olympians and National Team athletes.
Olympic Day was started in 1948 and is organized by the International Olympic Committee worldwide, with coordination by the USOC. It began to specifically commemorate the birth of the modern Olympics on June 23, 1894 and to spread Olympic ideals throughout the world. It now has really developed in being a great opportunity to introduce youth to the importance of determination, drive and perseverance – everything an Olympian must embody.
“Being an Olympian is really special,” said gold medalist and World Champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), who has always acknowledged the impact Olympics has on youth. “It’s not just about winning. It’s about competing, giving your best and following your dreams. Olympic moments are the kinds of things that inspire young kids to want to be an athlete. To me the Olympics are the pinnacle of sport and the highest achievement.”
The USOC will work with almost 10,000 Olympians and Paralympians currently living in the United States, with the goal of sending an athlete to each Olympic Day celebration to share their Olympic experiences and how it impacted their lives. As gold medalist Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) recalled from her unbelievable moguls run, “Two seconds ago I had not achieved my goal, two seconds later, goal achieved. It’s one moment that changes your life forever.”
Another U.S. Silver medalist, Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (Boise, ID) has mentioned the impact and coolness the Olympics have played in his life. “Having a silver medal is the coolest things that has ever happened to me. There are always going to be challenges and difficulties but when you look back at the end of it you can say, man that was an amazing ride.”