This month features Olympic Day, the annual celebration of the founding of the modern Olympics on June 23rd 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris. The goal of Olympic Day is to promote Olympic values and sports participation across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability. The United States Sports Academy is recognizing the day with an Open House at the Academy from 0900-1600 (9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) on Tuesday, 23 June 2015. This celebration, which is being staged in cooperation with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), involves a special tour of our Olympic art collection.
The Academy Olympic Day event on June 23rd is unique in focusing on the Olympic Art contained within the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA), which houses what is perceived to be the leading collection of sport art in the world. “ASAMA Olympic materials include the only complete collection of Olympic posters from the 2008 Beijing Olympiad in the USA, 10 serigraphs of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by the late sport artist LeRoy Neiman, Olympic reports and other publications dating back to 1896, and a complete collection of art from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. ASAMA’s Olympic Library Room also adds to the ever-growing collection, including medals from the 1988 Seoul Games, Olympic pennants, pins, plates, posters, and stamps.” (USSA, 2015) In order to make the Olympic art collection tour more meaningful, a special “Olympic Art Walking Tour Guide” has been designed for Olympic Day by USSA.
The Olympic Day celebrations grow in number each year. There are currently 1,044 registered 2015 Olympic Day Celebrations in the USA and internationally in more than 160 countries, according to United States Olympic Committee (USOC). In many cases the Olympic Day event is an athletic program such as a race or swim competition. (USOC, 2015) Additionally, the USOC encourages local Olympians or Paralympians to participate at an Olympic Day event “to share their personal story and inspire those in attendance with Olympic messaging.” (USOC, 2015)
“Olympic Day, created in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, focuses on the Olympic values and ideals such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. In the U.S., Olympic Day events range from small gatherings to large, city-wide events.” (USOC, 2015) Sports organizations and educational institutions in the USA are encouraged to add their Olympic Day events and register them at the Olympic Day Toolkit website as well.
USOC (2015). Olympic Day Toolkit. Retrieved from https://olympicday.fusesport.com/page/Olympic-Day-Toolkit-x-6661-2245-14513.html
USSA (2015) Academy Open House Celebrating Olympic Day Features Sport Art from Around the World. Retrieved from http://ussa.edu/news/academy-open-house-celebrating-olympic-day-features-sport-art-from-around-the-world/
Dr. Robert Hudson is the Library Director and Archivist at the United States Sports Academy. He can be reached at email@example.com.