Thomas Bach marked his first Olympic Day as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by hosting a special celebration in Lausanne which saw more than 1,000 runners taking part in the 5.5 kilometre Olympic Capital Run.

Launching the run, Bach called on people around the world to get physically active and enjoy the benefits of leading healthy lifestyles as he was joined by a number Olympians, including runner Udo-Obong Enee of Nigeria, Bahrain swimmer Hisham Shehab, Slovakian decathlete Slaven Dizdarevic and cross-country skier Maria Ntanou of Greece.

"We need to continue to spread the popularity of sport and particularly the Olympic Games, but simply consuming sport is not enough - we need people and particularly young people to get active," said Bach.

"We need to get the 'couch potatoes off the couch' - and Olympic Day and particularly Olympic Day runs are one way we can do that."

Events are taking place across the globe today to mark the annual Olympic Day celebrations dedicated to the founding of the international Olympic Movement by Pierre de Coubertin on June 23, 1894.

Olympic Day aims to spread the ideals of the Olympic Movement and promote participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or athletic ability.

The Olympic Day Run has become a feature of celebrations in many countries as people are encouraged to come together to promote respect and solidarity as well as getting physically active.

Bach, joined by Russia's gold medal-winning snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov, also unveiled a new bronze statue of de Coubertin at the IOC's headquarters today.

The statue was sculpted by Chinese artist Xikun Yuan and was a gift to The Olympic Museum from the Chinese Olympic Committee following Beijing 2008.

"Part of Coubertin's genius was adapting the values of Olympism to the modern world - but he didn't just hand us these ideas written in stone - part of his genius was to understand that we must constantly renew ourselves and update the Olympic vision," added Bach.

A number of National Olympic Committees have already held events over the past few days, including an Olympic Day Sports Fair in Suva, Fiji last weekend hosted by the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, which gave children and adults the opportunity to try a sport at stations set up by a range of national sport federations.

Earlier this month a record 4,500 runners took part in a variety of races in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as part the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia's Olympic Day celebrations, while a series of programmes running over 10 days in Nepal, beginning on June 14, saw children and adults taking part in running, cycling and table tennis events.

In Bahrain, Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park hosted a number of special events in the town of Arad today featuring activities such as sport folk games, children's games and a skeet board show.

The Zimbabwe Olympic Committee is set to mark Olympic Day by hosting an event in Bulawayo's White City Stadium this coming Saturday (June 28).

As well as both five and 10 kilometre runs, a number of Olympic sports will be on display with participants drawn from primary and secondary schools as well as colleges, and will see amateur and  professional athletes taking part.