IOC PRESIDENT ROGGE RECEIVES ONESTI AWARD
Rome, 15th May– International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge went to the Italian capital this Tuesday to attend the celebrations for the centenary of the birth of Giulio Onesti, the Italian Olympic Committee's founding president.
Whilst in Rome, president Rogge was received by the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, at his official residence the Quirinale, accompanied by CONI president Giovanni Petrucci, secretary general Raffaele Pagnozzi, vice-presidents Riccardo Agabio and Luca Pancalli, and IOC members in Italy Mario Pescante, Franco Carraro, Ottavio Cinquanta, Francesco Ricci Bitti and Manuela Di Centa.
In the afternoon, at a celebration held in CONI's Hall of Honour, president Rogge received the Award instituted by the Giulio Onesti Foundation, created shortly after Onesti's death, from the hands of IOC vice president Mario Pescante, who evoked the many years they had worked together in the Olympic Movement.
The Onesti Award, a bust of the onetime leader of Italian Olympism, has in the past been bestowed upon IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch and the eminent Italian politician Giulio Andreotti who so strongly supported the Rome 1960 Olympic Games candidature.
The ceremony ended with the presentation of the work "Giulio Onesti, Italian sport ", written by the sports historian Augusto Frasca, with a preface by Antonio Ghirelli, a journalist and writer who died last 12th April.
Giulio Onesti (1912-1981) was president of the Italian Olympic Committee, CONI, from 1946 to 1978, and was the man who rebuilt the nation's Olympic sports movement after World War II, as well as being the driving force behind Rome's successful bid for the 1960 Olympics. An IOC Member from 1964 till when he died aged 69, Giulio Onesti, together with a small group of forward looking sports leaders, was also one of the founders of the worldwide association of national Olympic committees and one of the initiators of an Olympic solidarity fund for weaker NOCs, two initiatives that grew to become the imposing organisations that ANOC and Olympic Solidarity are today.