Virtual Olympic Day, True Celebration
    Hope and optimism spread through Olympic Day online mobilisation worldwide
Although the world is still facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for celebrating, sharing and looking forward is in all minds and hearts. The World Health Organisation, the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee could not have chosen a better day to team up together to encourage individuals and communities around the world to be #HEALTHYTogether. The three partners and Olympic athletes will spotlight the collective effort and global collaboration needed to stay healthy and reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19.
To celebrate Olympic Day - which is a hymn to sport, health, and effort - the IOC coordinated the world's biggest ever 24-hour digital-first Olympic workout and invited everyone around the globe to be active. Olympians have been mobilised to share their home workouts and their stories. Athletes spread the message that sport has the power to change the world, together despite distance. 
As IOC President Thomas Bach says, “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.”  
    On the spot
Interview with Gabriele Freytag 
Head of the Directorate for Sport, Senate Department for the Interior and Sport, City of Berlin 
Lockdown can lead to a lack of exercise and physical activity, damaging physical and mental health. However, the period was also a propitious time for innovation and creativity. What kind of creative initiatives was the City of Berlin able to use to combine the constraints of lockdown with the need for physical activity, to keep its population mentally and physically healthy and maintain a link to its citizens? 

Berlin is a very active city. A 2019 study showed that more than 80 percent of Berliners exercise regularly. That is why the Senate of Berlin continued to allow people to engage in individual open air physical exercise during intermediate lockdown. Anyone who wanted to go out for a bike ride or a run was able to do so at any time as long as they did so either on their own or together with other members of their household. In addition to regulations on physical exercise, almost all other kinds of sports in Berlin had to be put on hold during the lockdown. Only a few exceptions were allowed to continue. Public and private sport facilities were shut down. All sporting events had to be cancelled.
To stay in touch with their members, many instructors in sports clubs released weekly exercise plans. Coaches posted instructions for training sessions on various digital media platforms. Professional clubs like our basketball team Alba Berlin offered daily coaching sessions during regular school hours on their YouTube channel, which was a welcome break from home schooling for kids and teenagers. Some coaches even developed board games for their students to play during Easter break. These combined questions to test their expertise in the respective sport and different kinds of exercises. The regional sports association Berlin, with financial support from the Senate, cooperated with local clubs and a regional TV channel to screen a daily morning exercise video on TV to ensure that the elderly, who may not have access to a computer, could stay active while sheltering at home.
Germany was one of the first European countries easing lockdown regulations and allowing professional sports to resume. How is the City of Berlin handling the situation? What kind of specific measures have been put in place? 

Germany is a federal country. This means that decisions regarding the lockdown and any subsequent easing of the lockdown were made by the government of each respective federal state. But the governments of individual states regularly communicated with each other. The Berlin Senate additionally coordinates its decisions with the government of the neighbouring federal state Brandenburg.
Given the low number of new infections and the medical capacities in Berlin, we have been able to slowly re-allow a variety of sports since the end of April. At the beginning, we only allowed people to participate in outdoor sports such as tennis which could be played by two people at a safe distance. Since then, we have allowed people to practice group sports with a limited number of participants in outdoor and indoor sports facilities, as long as they follow all social distancing rules and comply with hygiene measures. Almost all national sports associations have published exercise concepts for their specific sport that help orient coaches and instructors on the ground in sports clubs.
Gyms and yoga studios, ballet and dance schools and outdoor swimming pools have also reopened. They have to comply with specific measures to ensure the safety of their members and visitors.
Berlin is an events city, used to organise major sports and non-sport events. What is the perspective for the sport industry (events, leagues)?   

Owners and managers of sports facilities, Berlin sports clubs and associations and the professional clubs in Berlin as well as private sports organizers and promoters and their service providers might face huge losses of income and the economic existence of some is at risk.
The goal of the Berlin Senate is to protect the existing structures of the Sportsmetropolis Berlin in their entirety. Berlin is known for the diversity of its sport offerings and we want to preserve this trademark of the city for the future. This is why the Senate has not only supported non-profit sports (e.g. the regional sports association and its member federations and clubs) with a safety net so they can better face the financial crisis caused by the effects of Corona. It has also worked with our professional clubs and traditional sports organizers by developing a joint marketing campaign for the Sportsmetropolis Berlin to support all our partners. We have set aside more than eight million Euros for this.
The match operations of the German Bundesliga already re-started without spectators and in line with strict expert-driven hygiene regulations. Events with up to 1,000 people will be allowed again after 1 July 2020. And, as long as there is no second wave, events with up to 5,000 people will be allowed again from 1 September to 24 October 2020. In addition, a sports metropolis initiative is working to develop new concepts for sport sites to go back to hosting events with spectators.
For the local population, what specific actions is the City carrying out to not only allow safe sport practice but also “sport life”?

Almost all large events have either been cancelled or postponed to next year. Berlin clubs and federations focusing on non-contact sports are allowed to already host competitions upon approval from the Berlin government. Similar to how other areas of everyday social life are slowly going back to normal, so, too, have sports clubs. For example, club cafes are operating under the same regulations as other restaurants and cafes in the city. But there is still a long way to go until ‘sport life’ will be fully back to normal.

    Picked up from the Legacy Inspiration Box
Legacy Governance Innsbruck

Since the Olympic Winter Games in 1964 and 1976, Innsbruck and Tyrol have been famous for its great competence in organising major (sport) events. Innsbruck attracts millions of visitors every year. After hosting the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, Innsbruck became the first Olympic City that hosted the Olympic Games three times.

innsbruck-tirol sports GmbH (ITS) is a not for profit company, formed from the legacy of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games 2012 in Innsbruck, Tyrol. The idea behind the company is the conservation and the further development of knowledge which was accumulated during the organisation and realisation of the Youth Olympic Games and all other major sport events organised since. ITS is constantly maintaining and extending the existing sports network and services for not only regional but (inter)national federations and partners. To learn more about ITS, click here!

Access Legacy Governance Innsbruck
    Stay Tuned with the Union
On-Going Projects
2020 SUMMIT - Registration is open!

Partnerships for the Goals! As solidarity and the power of sport to change lives is at the heart of our concerns, above all in such a unique period, the Summit will focus on how smart and forward-thinking cities can leverage inclusive sport, physical activity and sporting events to advance our common roadmap to transform our communities as well as contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda. More information is available on the website To register, please click here.

2020 SUMMIT - Call for projects

The year 2020 will remain exceptional in many ways. It is currently upsetting our traditional points of reference and will undoubtedly contribute to reshaping the international and local sport landscape. As Cities are at the forefront fighting against the pandemic, the Union's team would be very interested in collecting your experiences, initiatives and future projects in facing Covid-19 and how sport and the sport community are an asset in this situation. Do not hesitate to contact us and tell us your story(ies). 


Just this once, the Annual Meeting of the World Union of Olympic Cities will follow the Smart Cities & Sport Summit. It will take place both on Thursday, October 29 in Lausanne and online and we are looking forward to seeing you again, whatever the channel used. Find more information here

We are currently updating our main communication tool: the Union's website. Your contribution is most welcome and you have been or will be shortly contacted to update your Member page as well as the cases in the toolkit, should you have any. Mostly, we ask you to provide new pictures as well as to update texts related to your city. In advance, we thank you very much for helping us in this renewal process!
This relatively "quiet" period is also an opportunity to continue working on the Olympic Legacy Toolkit and the Celebration Toolkit. Should you have new projects to present, celebrations to highlight and/or best practices to share, do not hesitate to contact us - if we don't contact you first - to make your case. 

   Keep an Eye on Olympic Cities
What’s going on in your cities?

OSLO  On June 11, behind closed doors, the Oslo stadium hosted an athletics "meeting" of a new kind: the Impossible Games, with a great deal of creativity! The Games, set up as a Diamond League exhibition to replace the Bislett Games due to coronavirus restrictions, including a 10,000m race, 300m hurdles, and a pole vault competition in which world record holder Armand Duplantis, who was in the stadium, cleared 5.86 metres to beat Renaud Lavillenie, who was competing via video link from his garden in France. In another event, a Norwegian team including the Ingebrigtsen brothers won a 2,000m race against a Kenyan team including Timothy Cheruiyot, who were racing simultaneously in the rain of Nairobi. Strictly speaking, it’s not a scoring Wanda Diamond League meeting but it offers some of the world’s best athletes a stage on which to perform, while millions of fans tuned into the action.

PARIS Due to the health crisis, Olympic Day was entirely digital and lasted five days. On June 22, federations, regional and departmental Olympic committees and all French sports institutions were invited to take a collective photo with an object representing their sport and respecting the rules of physical distance. On June 23, athletes were invited to complete the 2,024-meter distance and publish their performance on social networks using a series of hashtags and mentions (#Journée Olympique, #Défi2024m, @FranceOlympique, #Rame2024 and @FFAviron for rowing) to be inserted on a photo of the athlete at the end of the race with time and race bib that was downloadable! All sport-related means to achieve the distance were allowed, e.g. running, rowing, cycling, etc. Eventually, from June 24 to 26, athletes were invited to shared the three Olympic values ​​of excellence, friendship and respect on social media through a photo or a quote of a personal experience.

CHAMONIX Chamonix was the first city to host the Winter Olympic Games and sent local athletes to every edition of the Winter Games since 1924! To celebrate Olympic Day, 8 year-old school children were invited to meet current and former Olympians to talk about Games, sports and the Chamonix Olympic Games Centenary to come!
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