The annual International Olympic Day Celebrations 2023

The annual International Olympic Day Celebrations 2023 was held on 23rd June with the customary Olympic Day Run / Walk around the Vihara Maha Devi Park, Colombo. The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka together with the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka & Maldives organised the event with the participation / assistance of the Municipal Council of Colombo ( Event Partner ), CRYSBRO Group ( Strategic Partner ), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Sports, DanceSport Association of Sri Lanka, Roller Skating Association of Sri Lanka, Premadasa Riding School, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka Police Department, National Level Athletes, University of Moratuwa ( Mora Spirit ), Sri Lanka Archery Association, Esports Association of Sri Lanka & several individuals & organisations related to the event with the NOC,SL.

The parade had 02 Horse Riders, 24 Roller Skaters from the Prasanna Roller Skating Academy – Gampaha,the Western Band of Ananda Balika Vidyalaya, School Children, National Athletes, Representatives of several National Sports Associations affiliated to the NOCSL, Executive Committee Members & Staff of NOCSL. The Torch Bearers were led by Nethmi Ahinsa ( Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist – Wrestling ) & Niluka Karunaratne ( Multi Olympic Games participant – Badminton ).

Among the speakers were His Excellency Jean – Francois Pactet – Ambassador, French Embassy in Sri Lanka & Maldives ( Chief Guest ), Mrs Badrani Jayawardene – Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Council of Colombo ( Guest of Honour ), Maxwell De Silva – Secretary General- NOCSL, Prof. B L H Perera – Director of Education-NOCSL & Gamini Jayasinghe-Tresurer-NOCSL. An audio visual message by His Excellency Thomas Bach – President of the International Olympic Committee was also screened.

For it’s Culturul Olympiad, Paris 2024 had introduced the public to 04 Champion Sports Personalities through the work of 04 Photo Artists. Arnaud Assoumani, Aya Cissoko, Marie – Amelie Le Fur & Patricio Manuel are known for their sporting excellence, but also for their words, which have been heard far beyond the sports arena. Their respective sporting achievements, personal lives & campaigning for worthy causes have been highlighted by Adrien Selbert, Francois Huguer, Magali Lambert & Maia Flore with great sensitivity. The photo exhibition was arraigned by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka & Maldives & was held for 02 weeks near the Mahaweli Centre on Greenpath.

The customary art exhibition was also held with around 100 participatingin the preliminary round. 35 were selected for the final round.

10th Place – Ishari Janithya – Anuruddha Balika MV
09th Place – Ashika Senura Chamathka – Asian Grammar School
08th Place – Binuthi Lochana Kodagoda – Asian Grammar School
07th Place – Thathsilu Sewhas – Piliyandala Central
06th Place – Panindu Rathnage – Asian Grammar School
05th Place – Senuli Dinara Wilathgamuwa – Asian Grammar School
04th Place – Sarah Suresh – Gateway College
03rd Place – Methuki Nethma – Asian Grammar School
Runner Up – Nulara Nelindee Ekanayake – Visaka Vidyalaya
Winner – Sarani Samadhi Jayamanna – Asian Grammar School were the award winners.

Young Musician, Mario Anand who is one of several Theme Song winners of Asian Games 2022 in Hangzhou, China performed for the occassion. Rathnawali Balika MV Cultural Troupe presented the Welcome Dance. Lalith Perakum,Sentrian, Torrential, Island Stompers, Cypher of Culture,Hip-hop Dance Clubs together with
El Latino Dance Academy by Kevin Nugara – the most achieved Latino Dancer of Sri Lanka captivated the audience with some high octane performances.

The Sports & Recreation Department of the Municipal Council of Colombo handled most of the ground preparations. About 500 school children, 200 athletes, 200 officials & 200 members of the public participated in the event.

Report assisted by Gobinath Sivarajah & Chalani Dayarathne Photos courtesy Thusith Wijedoru