Host Cities of the Games unite for day of Olympic/Paralympic-inspired Peace & Solidarity

Host City Olympic and Paralympic stakeholders create new Olympic and Paralympic ('OLY/PLY') movement initiative.
By: Passing The Torch
SAN FRANCISCO - June 29, 2023 - PRLog -- On June 24th, 2023, the first ever "Olympic and Paralympic Cities – Day of Peace and Solidarity 2023" ('OPC-DPS 23') kicked off in Host Cities around the world. 35 Host Cities of the Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Games participated in this year's inaugural event in various ways.

"We were pleased with the interest and support for setting aside one day a year to promote OLY/PLY- inspired peace and solidarity," said OPC-DPS 23 Global Project Manager Charles Altekruse, a two-time Olympian from the USA. "OPC-DPS is unique in our movement in that it is athlete-driven and locally-driven, where OLY/PLY members of local communities - Athletes/Coaches, City/Local Officials, Legacy/OCOG/ Sports/Tourism Groups, and Other stakeholders –collaborate to activate their Host City participation based on local requirements and resources."

OPC-DPS is designed to be a simple, unifying, and non-political global gesture, leveraging the 60 eligible Host Cities (past and awarded) as platforms for expressing, exercising, and elevating the moral authority of the movement and emphasizing the goal to create 'a better and more peaceful world', as stated in the Olympic Charter. June 24 was selected as the date to complement the annual 'Olympic Day' celebrations commemorating the founding of the modern Olympic movement in 1894. All seven USA Host Cities (NYC, Lake Placid, Atlanta, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, LA, and Squaw Valley) participated in this first year's program, with Lake Placid and St. Louis leading the way with combined Olympic Day and OPC-DPS events. And through strong local athlete support, Colorado Springs became the first "Associate City" to officially qualify to join OPC-DPS 23 (see map of cities www.PassingTheTorch.World).

"We were delighted to integrate our events and activities to celebrate both of these important Olympic and Paralympic milestones together," said Lisa Carter, Sport & Communications Manager at the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority ('Olympic Authority') that works with local and regional entities to protect the public's investment in the Lake Placid Olympic facilities and build and support tourism throughout the State.

Lake Placid championed its joint Olympic Day/OPC-DPS celebrations over several days and across numerous venues, including the Lake Placid Olympic & Paralympic Training Center (LPOPTC) and Lake Placid Olympic Museum. School-based programs encouraged kids to be active, tours of nearby legacy sporting sites encouraged visitors and local citizens to learn more about the town's history with the Games, and numerous OLY/PLY athletes on hand encouraged everyone to dream "Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together!" according to the Olympic Motto. In a fun connection to the past, current Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin Jr, son of a three-time Olympic and Hall of Fame ski-jumper, read an official City proclamation that encouraged the learning and practice of Olympic and Paralympic values and ideals.

The St. Louis Sports Commission also hosted combined Olympic Day/OPC-DPS events at Washington University's Francis Olympic Field, site of the 1904 Games (the first to be held outside of Europe). Kids from around the region ran the Olympic track under the watchful eye of local Olympic stars Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Dawn Harper Nelson.

"We now have a great foundation for expanding programmatically and globally in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Games," said Altekruse. "By embracing the Paralympic and Olympic spirit, we acknowledge we are part of something greater – a worldwide community and that our shared humanity is more significant that our differences."

About Us: For more information about OPC-DPS, please visit www.PassingTheTorch.World

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Charles Altekruse, OLY USA
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