A classroom visit from an Olympian was possible in New Zealand ©Getty Images

National Olympic Committees from all five regions have been marking a unique Olympic Day, with many forced to take festivities online.

Olympic Day is celebrated on June 23 every year, marking the anniversary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) being formed in Paris in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin.

The Olympic Federation of Ireland asked athletes to go "behind the dreams" and reveal what inspired and drove them to Olympic success.

Five Olympic medalists, including Ronnie Delany - champion of 1,500 metres at Melbourne 1956 - and Barcelona 1992 boxing gold medallist Michael Carruth helped to launch the campaign.

Rio 2016 sailing silver medallist Annalise Murphy, Beijing 2008 light-heavyweight boxing runner-up Kenneth Egan and John Treacy, who came second in the marathon at Los Angeles 1984, also featured, with more athletes encouraged to share their stories.

The National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus was another to post a video to celebrate the occasion. 

Biathlete Darya Domracheva, a four-time Olympic champion and holder of the Hero of Belarus title, was among the athletes to wish viewers well.

London 2012 mixed doubles tennis champion Max Mirnyi, weightlifter Andrei Aramnau - a Beijing 2008 gold medallist - three-time Olympic wrestling champion Aleksandr Medved and canoe sprnit Olympic medallists Maryna Litvinchuk, Volha Khudenka, Marharyta Makhneva and Nadzeya Liapeshka were also among more than a dozen athletes to feature in the video.

The French Olympic Committee encouraged people to walk, run or cycle 2,024 metres today - choosing the distance to symbolise that the Olympics are coming to Paris in 2024.

The British Olympic Association's celebrations are spanning over five days as part of a scheme to promote activity.

The German Olympic Academy, on behalf of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, launched a digital Olympic Day Run.

After going for a run, those participating can log their kilometres covered online and it is hoped that the combined efforts will spread from the German Sport and Olympic Museum in Cologne - usually the venue for Olympic Day events - to the Berlin Olympic Stadium.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, celebrations have moved online in many countries and South Korea is on such example.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC), in lieu of its traditional activities to promote an active lifestyle, asked people to share a photograph or video of them exercising. 

Prizes are on offer, with entries accepted from today until July 7.

This year mark's KSOC's 100th anniversary, which the organisation said made it more determined than ever to celebrate Olympic Day.

South Koreans can win prizes by sending in evidence of themselves being active ©KSOC
South Koreans can win prizes by sending in evidence of themselves being active ©KSOC

The Barbados Olympic Association similarly moved its celebrations online, but Vaneisha Cadogan, director of the Barbados Olympic Academy, saw this as an opportunity to engage with more people.

"We are very excited by the programme that we have planned for Olympic Day this year," Cadogan said.

"Just as before, we have planned a week of activities that we are hoping will attract participation from people of all ages. 

"We have a good mix of activities. 

"These include a TikTok challenge, a Greek Statue photo competition, a Zoom Treasure Hunt, and an Olympic Day workout. 

"There is also an educational component and several games for persons to play daily."

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) used the opportunity to highlight the work three Olympians have done away from elite sport - Seyi Smith, Eric Mitchell and Caroline Ouellette.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Ouellette established the Celebration of Women's Hockey project, an ice hockey tournament for players aged between five and 12.

Caroline Ouellette helped Canada win four straight women's ice hockey Olympic gold medals from 2002 to 2014 ©Getty Images
Caroline Ouellette helped Canada win four straight women's ice hockey Olympic gold medals from 2002 to 2014 ©Getty Images

Mitchell's Pass the Torch programme encourages youth athletes to share stories and be leaders in their communities.

Smith, a sprinter and bosleigh athlete who has competed at both Summer and Winter Games, plans to launch Racing to Zero - YYC next year.

That project wants to reduce the number of plastic bottles used at meets, educate all those involved about the importance of sustainability and help to plan events that are more environmentally friendly. 

All three athletes, the COC said, are "living true to the values of Olympism" - excellence, friendship and respect.

Trampolinist Dylan Schmidt, who won a gold medal at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, visited Sommerville Intermediate School in Auckland as part of the New Zealand Olympic Committee's Ask an Olympian resource.

Part of the resource sees New Zealand athletes David Liti, DJ Forbes, Caitlin Ryan and Alexis Pritchar answer questions from schoolchildren which relate to the pandemic.

"It’s been a challenging time so it’s great to connect with these kids and share some ideas and advice," Schmidt said of the visit.

National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NCOZ) President Alfred Foloko gave an address on the organisation's Facebook page, encouraging people to "embrace Olympic values" to help the fight against COVID-19.

The NCOZ is also staging a Virtual Olympic Day Run.

A compliation of Olympic Day messages from Zambian athletes, ex-NCOZ President Miriam Moyo and others was also comiled.

In his Olympic Day message, IOC President Thomas Bach recognised it was a "very different" day.

"Let us join together to use this power of sport to prepare the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as a moment of solidarity and resilience of humankind," Bach urged.

"We are all in the same situation right now.

"With the global coronavirus crisis, all of us are living with much uncertainty about the future. 

"In these difficult times, we need the values of sport, our shared Olympic values of excellence, friendship, respect and solidarity, more than ever."