Olympic Day in Orland Park

Olympic Day in Orland Park
Posted on 06/16/2009

Mayor Dan McLaughlin announced today that June 23 will be celebrated village-wide as Olympic Day with a special event featuring a rally and a walk open to all. The celebration begins at 9:30 a.m. outside of the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue. Visitors will be greeted by the School District 135 Band, including members and alumni under the direction of Bandmaster Jack Kinsella of Jerling Jr. High School. Athletic and gymnastic demonstrations will be provided by the Village of Orland Park Recreation Department.

Mayor Dan McLaughlin will open the program at 10 am and welcome everyone to the event. Mayor McLaughlin will introduce guest speakers Hope Lewellen and Brittany Dircks. Hope Lewellen won the 2008 Silver medal, U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team, Paralympic Games, Beijing, China and the 2008 Bronze medal, World Organization Volleyball for Disabled Intercontinental Cup, Ismailia, Egypt, among other major achievements. Lewellen grew up in Orland Park and was an original member of the Orland Park Sparks Baseball Team. Orland Park native Brittany Dircks is also a guest speaker and has competed nationally and internationally in trampoline gymnastics.

Mayor McLaughlin will proclaim Olympic Day in the Village of Orland Park and Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman will present the Cook County Board of Commissioners Resolution. Following the program, all attendees are invited to participate in either a 1.6 mile or 5K fun walk. No registration is required for the walk.

Also joining the celebration is Gary Barrett of McMillan, Michigan, formerly of Naperville, Illinois. Barrett was a 1984 cadre member of the Olympic Torch Run for the Los Angeles Olympics. He ran two or three four-mile segments daily during the week in which the torch passed through the states of Colorado, Utah and Idaho. Barrett is the father-in-law of Jack Kinsella, Bandmaster, Jerling Jr. High School. He will also bring the torch used during his run.

"Amateur athletics are important to our community and we take pride in the many programs and events that are offered to encourage physical activity to keep citizens healthy," said Mayor McLaughlin. "Along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and its Olympic Task Force, we look forward to working together to expand youth sport programs across the country and to strengthen Olympic and Paralympic sports networks," added McLaughlin.

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) celebrates Olympic Day annually with events at the Olympic Training Centers and official training sites, as well as coordinating activities with affiliated sport National Governing Bodies and multi-sport organizations. This year, through a partnership with Chicago 2016, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Olympic Day celebrations have expanded to cities across the country. In each community, the program will encourage physical activity and promote the Olympic values of fair play, cooperation and respect for others. Chicago 2016 is the organization seeking the privilege to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

At the urging of Mayor Daley during the U.S. Conference of Mayors in January in Washington, D.C., Mayor McLaughlin joined mayors across the country in a collective pledge of support for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago in 2016. Today's mayoral proclamation and the community's cooperative celebration with other cities will send a clear message to the International Olympic Committee that the Village of Orland Park and the United States of America support Chicago's bid for the Games. The 2016 Host City will be named on October 2, 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Chicago is competing for this honor alongside Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Tokyo (Japan), and Madrid (Spain).

Olympic Day is a worldwide commemoration of Baron Pierre de Coubertin's June 23, 1894, convening of the first International Olympic Committee meeting at the Sorbonne in Paris, and the founding of the Modern Olympic Games. National Olympic Committees throughout the world will also participate in the international celebration, with each Olympic Committee sending Olympic Day greetings to participating nations.

WHAT: Olympic Day event
WHEN: June 23, 2009, 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Village of Orland Park Center
14700 South Ravinia Avenue

For more information, please contact Patty Vlazny, (708) 403-6145.