University participates in Delaware Olympic Day celebration
11:24 a.m., July 3, 2012--More than 3,000 young people swam ceremonial laps, unfurled bike tricks and rowed Wilmington’s Christina River during last week’s Olympic Day, which took place at locations throughout Delaware.
The number of participants is the highest total yet since the event was launched in 2010.
Mandela Washington Fellows
Olympic Day was officially celebrated this year on June 22, when Gov. Jack Markell welcomed local youth athletes into his Wilmington office to discuss the importance of the day and to sign the Olympic Day proclamation, which recognized the day the modern games were birthed – June 23, 1896.
The participants -- First State BMX in Milford, the Suburban Swim League in New Castle County, the Monte Ross Basketball Camp at the Siegel Jewish Community Center in Wilmington, the Tina Martin Girls Basketball Camp at UD and the Wilmington Youth Rowing Association -- then kicked off a week’s worth of events with their own individual ceremonies to mark the first Olympic games.
Ross is head coach of the UD men's basketball team and Martin is head coach of the UD women's team, which won the Colonial Athletic Association title and advanced to the NCAA championship tournament this year.
Olympic Day, a joint effort of the Delaware Sports Commission (DSC), the University of Delaware and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), is more than a celebration and a ramp-up to the looming 2012 Summer Game in London -- it’s an international effort by more than 160 countries to promote fitness and well-being in addition to the four Olympic ideals of fair play, sportsmanship, perseverance and respect.
"Every year we top the previous campaign’s mark is another victory for playing sports the right way and living a healthy lifestyle," said Matthew Robinson, UD professor of sport management and president of the DSC. "Having more than 3,000 Olympic Day participants in Delaware shows the state’s dedication to this international event and the Olympic principles. We expect to see even more young people take part in 2013."
"Delaware’s ability to embrace the idea of thinking globally while acting locally was evident in its enthusiasm and dedication to this event," said David Arthur, executive director of the DSC. "The Olympic spirit is alive and well in Delaware."
Each participant in this year’s event, which wrapped up July 1, received a red, white and blue Olympic Day bracelet courtesy of the UD sport management program.
"The kids thought the Olympic Day bracelets were pretty cool," said Mathew Futterman, an intern for the DSC. "I really enjoyed working with all of the organizations to coordinate all of the festivities."