The #HEALTHYTogether partnership has been launched on Olympic Day ©WHO

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has marked Olympic Day by joining with the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) for an initiative called #HEALTHYTogether.

It is hoped that people and communities around the world will be encouraged to live healthier lifestyles while reducing the spread of coronavirus.

As part of the campaign, Olympic athletes will deliver public health messages in the coming weeks.

These will inspire people "to adopt or continue behaviours that will curtail the pandemic and provide resources that promote physical and mental health", it is claimed.

"Over the past six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every corner of the globe and every aspect of our lives, bringing with it uncertainty, fears and challenges that require endurance and perseverance to overcome," an IOC statement said.

"The world is looking for global institutions to work together and for leaders to deliver reliable, credible information from sources they trust. 

"Olympic athletes can be the trusted messengers for this information."

IOC President Thomas Bach said that sport can "save lives".

"We have seen over the last few months just how important sport and physical activity are for health and well-being," the German added. 

"And working together with WHO and the United Nations we can take another step together. 

"Olympic athletes will share the information and best practice that the world needs now."

The pandemic has had a severe impact on the world of sport, with numerous events either cancelled or postponed.

This includes the shifting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021.

Last month, the IOC and the WHO signed a memorandum of understanding which continued a relationship between the organisations which stretches back to 1984. 

The partnership is aimed at helping the recovery from COVID-19 ©WHO
The partnership is aimed at helping the recovery from COVID-19 ©WHO

Olympians involved in the new initiative will operate locally while countries recover from the pandemic at different speeds.

Athletes will demonstrate "perseverance, dedication and endurance", the IOC said, which are "qualities all individuals need during this public health challenge".

"The three organisations will work with local health authorities to share public health guidance and resources that inform and empower individuals to take appropriate actions and precautions," the IOC added.

"The World Health Organization will work with athletes to bring the important information to populations where they live and where conditions may vary through digital platforms."   

Olympic Day is marked on June 23 every year, to celebrate the anniversary of the IOC's formation in Paris in 1894, by Pierre de Coubertin.

"We are pleased to partner with the International Olympic Committee to spread important health messages that will save lives," said Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WHO.

"Olympians will help us advocate for healthier populations to ensure that people are as resilient as our health systems must be to fight COVID-19."

António Guterres, secretary general of the UN, added: "During this time of unprecedented challenges and change –from the COVID-19 pandemic to the ongoing struggle for racial and social justice and the climate crisis – there has never been a greater need for global solidarity and hope.  

"The Olympic Movement and its athletes have always brought out the best in humanity, and the United Nations is pleased to work with the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization in calling on people everywhere to unite and be #HEALTHYTogether."