Olympic Day is a mass family-friendly event that propagates sport and a healthy lifestyle. Its mission is to introduce various sports to society, to offer an opportunity of trying them out, and to encourage communication with federations, clubs, coaches and athletes. “Move. Learn. Discover” is the global slogan of Olympic Day that invites everyone to be inquisitive and to discover the joy of the sport.
The history of Olympic Day started in January 1948, when at the 42nd IOC Session in St Moritz, Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the idea of Olympic Day. This day commemorates the creation of the IOC and restoration of the Olympic Games during the I Olympic congress on June 23, 1894, in Sorbonne, Paris. June 23 marks the start of the modern Olympic Movement.
In Lithuania, Olympic Day was first celebrated on May 13, 1989. In the Gediminas Castle, the Olympic champion Šarūnas Marčiulionis lit a torch which then was carried in a relay through Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia until reaching Tallinn. Formerly, Olympic Day was celebrated by organizing the running of the symbolic Lithuanian Olympic mile – 1988 meters, symbolizing the year of the restoration of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee.
In 2015, a festival of mass sports activities started taking place in Lithuania’s largest cities – Kaunas, Alytus, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, and Klaipėda.
In 2019, an attendance record was reached in Klaipėda, whereas many as 30,000 people attended the festival, tried out 100 different sports and Olympism-related activities, observed competitions, and learned about Olympic values and history. The festival featured a live performance by Monique and sports films viewings on the shore of the Baltic Sea.
The organizers encourage active participation in the festival by offering prizes. Before or on the day of the event the festival’s participants claim their Participant’s passport where they collect points by participating in various events. In the evening they can exchange those points into medals, souvenirs, and prizes.
The event is organized by the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee and the Lithuanian Olympic Fund. The municipality of the host-city, Lithuanian sports federations, and clubs help to ensure the quality of the ever-growing festival.