Oak Brook, Illinois, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- - Furthers commitment to Olympic movement and healthy active lifestyles
For the first time, McDonald's will become the exclusive worldwide sponsor of the Olympic Day Run, an annual global event that encourages the practice of sport by all.
The Run was created to celebrate Olympic Day, June 23rd, which commemorates the foundation of the International Olympic Committee. It will take place this weekend, June 21-22, in more than 150 countries and is the only worldwide simultaneous event of its kind designed to promote the Olympic ideals and a healthy, active lifestyle for men, women and children around the globe.
"The McDonald's alliance is very important to the International Olympic Committee and their commitment is vital to the successful staging of the Olympic Games," said Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee. "Through McDonald's extended involvement in the Olympic Day Run, they will further our shared vision to promote the ideals of Olympism and encourage participation in sport by people from all walks of life."
McDonald's participation in the Olympic Day Run will vary by country. For the inaugural year, McDonald's will have a presence at all local events and will assist the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in a variety of ways including local store marketing activities and use of restaurants for runner registration and celebrations.
"We are honoured to sponsor the Olympic Day Run, an important global event which enables people of any skill level to be part of the Olympic Movement," said Ken Barun, Corporate Vice President, McDonald's Healthy Lifestyle initiative. "Not only do we share the Olympic ideals of teamwork, dedication and excellence, but we believe strongly in and are committed to supporting healthy, active lifestyles for people everywhere. This event exemplifies those values."
Since the first Run in 1987, the event has gained in popularity growing from 45 participating NOCs the first year to 169 in 2001. As many as one million people, including a number of disabled people, have participated in the Olympic Day Run worldwide, with the youngest an 18-month-old baby from Romania and the oldest an 86-year-old man from Chinese Taipei. In past races, participation varied around the world, from more than 15,000 runners spread across seven villages in Ethiopia, to 4,000 participants in El Salvador to 300 in Djibouti.
Distances run have varied anywhere from 100m in Yugoslavia, to over 20km in Ecuador and Switzerland, and prizes are awarded to winning runners. In addition to the Run, many NOCs hold other sports activities and cultural and artistic events during this time period, including concerts, arm-wrestling, Olympic quizzes, and even an 84-leg relay.
For more than 30 years, McDonald's has been committed to the international Olympic Movement. Beginning in 1968, McDonald's began airlifting hamburgers to U.S. athletes in Grenoble, France and since then has served millions of athletes, their families and fans.
McDonald's is committed to helping consumers lead healthier, active lives. In May, McDonald's launched the Global Advisory Council on Healthy Lifestyles, a team of experts from the medical, nutrition and fitness arenas that includes IOC Medical Director, Dr. Patrick Schamasch.
The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games mark McDonald's fourth Olympic Games as a TOP Sponsor and the fifth as the Official Restaurant of the Games. McDonald's is the world's leading foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants, serving nearly 46 million people each day in more than 100 countries. More than 80 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.
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SOURCE McDonald's Corporation