Olympians from Tajikistan to Lausanne celebrate Olympic Day

27 | 6 | 2014

On Monday, the National Olympians Association of Tajikistan combined education and physical activity as part of its celebrations to mark Olympic Day. Young athletes were invited to take part in boxing and football demonstrations and the participating children were taught about the importance of sport and the history and values of the Olympic Games.

Zebiniso Rustamova, the President of the Tajikistan Olympians Association and an Olympic Bronze Medallist, led the education programme that focussed on the work and teachings of Pierre de Coubertin – the father of the modern Olympic Games. Rustamova said that the aim of the programme was to instil in children the importance of setting goals and understanding how to reach them.

She said, “the children loved hearing about the Olympic Movement and they all seemed very interested. It was also good to see their parents actively participating in the discussions. The values of Olympism are very important to us and we believe that if we can encourage the youngsters to embrace the core values at an early age then this can have a strong impact on society and the communities they live in.”

Meanwhile in Lausanne, a group of international Olympians who are taking part in the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) post-graduate programme, led more than 1000 people in the traditional Olympic Day run.

The annual event, one of the highlights of the Olympic calendar, was opened by IOC president Thomas Bach on Monday as part of the worldwide Olympic Day celebrations.

Sydney 2000 Gold Medallist Enee Udo-Obong from Nigeria and his fellow Olympian classmates including, Decathlete Slaven Dizdarevic from Slovakia, Swimmer Hisham Shehab from Bahrain and Cross-Country Skier Maria Ntanou from Greece, then directed runners in a warm up before the race got under underway.

Speaking after the event Dizdarevic, who competed at Beijing 2008 said, “the day was an incredible experience for the four of us who have come from different parts of the world to share this day with our classmates and the people of Lausanne, the Olympic Capital and the city we have made our home. That’s something pretty special.”

“It was a truly unique experience bringing lots of positive vibes and great energy from the crowd and race organisers”

Hisham Shehab, a swimmer at Athens 2004, reflected that, "the Olympic Day celebration was a great way for all of us to remember the basics of sport; what it stands for and why we are passionate about continuing a career in it. It is about camaraderie and having fun."

You can also read here about how Olympic Day was celebrated elsewhere around the world.