Star athletes lead virtual home workouts on Olympic Day

Olympians and other professional athletes join fans online to mark the 126th anniversary of the IOC.

    The first Olympic Day was celebrated on June 23, 1948 [Video screengrab/Olympic channel]
    The first Olympic Day was celebrated on June 23, 1948 [Video screengrab/Olympic channel]

    Olympians and celebrity athletes from around the world are leading virtual home workouts amid the coronavirus pandemic in celebration of the 126th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    A star-studded lineup of current and past champions are part of the online initiative launched by the IOC to mark Olympic Day, on Tuesday, June 23, with a series of live workouts planned throughout the day.

    Double Olympic track and field champion Felix Sanchez, US gymnast and two-time medalist Laurie Hernandez, current 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon from Kenya and France's most successful Olympian, biathlete Martin Fourcade, were among those encouraging fans to join the day's activities.

    "With the global coronavirus crisis, all of us are living with much uncertainty about the future. In these difficult times, we need the values of sport, our shared Olympic values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity, more than ever," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a video message.

    The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, originally scheduled for July 24, have been postponed to next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Along with massive financial costs, the delay threw the sporting calendar into chaos with many sports being forced to postpone their own world championships to accommodate the Olympics.

    The IOC expects to bear costs of up to $800m for its part in the organisation of the competition next year, according to Bach.

    "Celebrating Olympic Day may feel very different from all previous years, but at the same time, on this Olympic Day, our message of the power of sport to bring hope and optimism to everyone resonates even stronger," said Bach.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News