The event was opened by the vice president of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia and one of the candidates for the upcoming OKS elections, with a greeting to Slovenian sport. Janez Sodržnik. “I believe you will have a fantastic time at Sports Day. It is happening all over Slovenia. For the first time, the president’s run will take place in several places across Slovenia. Above all, I wish everyone well-being and that we meet as often as possible.” said the vice president of OKS.
The participants of the main event were mainly children, who could try themselves in various sports challenges and activities prepared by various sports associations. Among others, the football, gymnastics, handball, basketball, skiing, cycling, shooting, kayaking, dance, rugby, triathlon federations of Slovenia, as well as the Association for Sports of the Disabled of Slovenia and many others participated in the Congress Square.
“All athletes are happy that we now have our own day of the year, our own holiday. I see that today is a great joy, that we all like to move. The message of us athletes is to pass on our knowledge and enthusiasm to the younger ones, who will then inspire us when we follow them on TV. I think that sport is our culture in a way,” said the snowboarder during the sports holiday Jean Koshirwho has silver and bronze from the Olympic Games.
In addition to the central event in Ljubljana, various sports events were held throughout the country. At 12 o’clock, the central event in Ljubljana ended with the president’s symbolic run along Slovenska cesta.
The Olympic festival will also take place in Ljubljana on Saturday and Sunday.
Slovenian Sports Day was celebrated as a national holiday for the first time in Slovenia on September 23 last year with a central event at Trg republike in Ljubljana. Members of the National Assembly approved it on June 18 last year.
On September 23, 2000, the first gold medals for independent Slovenia at the Games in Sydney were won by the rowing duo Iztok Čop and Luka Špik and shooter Rajmond Debevec with a small-caliber rifle in a triple position.
Slovenian Sports Day is also the beginning of the European Sports Week. On Monday, the European Commission published the fifth Eurobarometer survey on sport and physical activity. The research shows that 38 percent of European men and women engage in sports or exercise at least once a week, and 17 percent less than once a week. Up to 45 percent never exercise or participate in physical activity. The numbers are similar to those of the previous survey in 2017. This survey also showed that half of the inhabitants of the Old Continent reduced their physical activities or even gave them up completely during the covid-19 pandemic.