Celebrated around the world, Olympic Day 2017 in the Philippines was much more than just a sports gathering where winning gold medals define paramount success.
“For me, this should be a celebration commemorating the birth and the ideals of the Olympic movement,’’ said Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr.
Athletes from the national team participated in a variety of games held on June 24 at the Philsports Track and Field Oval in Pasig City with Filipino grapplers from the Wrestling Association of the Philippines securing the overall title.
“On this day, we try to enjoy ourselves because all of us here, the athletes, coaches and officials, belong to the Olympic family,’’ said Cojuangco.
Also present during the Olympic Day festivity were International Olympic Committee representative to the Philippines Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, POC secretary general Steve Hontiveros, former IOC representative Frank Elizalde, POC board members Robert Mananquil of billiards and Cynthia Carrion of gymnastics.
The Olympic Day is held annually and observed simultaneously by millions of people in more than 160 countries.
It commemorates the foundation of the International Olympic Committee at the Sorbonne, Paris, on June 23, 1894, where Pierre de Coubertin obtained the revival of the Olympic Games.
According to Elizalde, it is a day for communities on every country around the world to get active, learn about Olympic values and discover new sports.
He added National Olympic Committees throughout the globe continue to organize sports, cultural and educational activities based on these three pillars—move, learn and discover.
The Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association and its president Philip Ella Juico provided technical support to the POC during the festivities where athletes, coaches, officials and even members of the media participated in various events.
All of them competed in the 4×100 meter mixed relay, 3K team run, obstacle course, vortex javelin relay, three-pull tug-of-war and mixed medley relay.
The concept of celebrating the worldwide Olympic Day shifted from a mere Olympic Day Run for the past two decades into a more inclusive set of activities that could make it easier for everybody to become a part of the festivities.