Europe shines at IOC Awards Ceremony in Buenos Aires
8 October 2018
Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) celebrated and honoured role models, active cities and organisations as part of its Awards Ceremony at the Olympism in Action Forum, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 5 and 6 October 2018.
Many of the outstanding personalities – recognised for advancing women in and through sport or their extraordinary achievements as coaches – are from Europe, underlining once again the importance and strength of sport on this continent. In addition, four of six cities that became the first global active cities in a programme backed by the IOC are European.
IOC Women and Sport Awards
The Turkish Eczacubasi Sports Club was recognised with the Women and Sport World Trophy for being a sporting pioneer in its country. It was founded in 1966, at a time when the idea of women participating in a male-dominated world was not readily embraced by Turkish society. Yet the Eczacubasi Sports Club has since achieved near gender equality in its administration and developed women’s volleyball to have thousands of members and millions of followers, winning a record 28 national championships, World and European titles and investing in the female players of tomorrow.
Daina Gudzineviciute from Lithuania, an Olympic shooting champion, President of the Lithuanian NOC and an EOC Executive Committee member, was awarded the IOC’s Women and Sport Trophy for Europe. Since becoming a national hero in Lithuania when she claimed gold in the first-ever women’s trap shooting competition at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000, she has used her leadership role within the NOC to encourage girls and women through various means to participate more in sport and physical activities.
IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards
Launched last year, the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Award recognises a female and male coach’s outstanding achievements and contribution to Olympians’ lives and the Olympic Movement. They are nominated either by Olympians, NOCs, IFs, members of the IOC Athletes’ and Entourage Commissions, or IOC Members. This year, the IOC has chosen from 98 nominations to give the Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards to Hungarian canoeing coach Katalin Rozsnyoi and Austrian native British skeleton coach Andreas “Andi” Schmid.
Katalin Rozsnyoi (Hungary) was recognised for her significant contribution to Hungary’s success at the Olympic Games and the outstanding number of medals won by her athletes in canoeing. After winning a silver medal at the 1968 Olympic Games, the 14-time national champion became an even more successful coach. Her athletes have won 11 medals at the Olympic Games, 84 medals at world championships and 70 medals at European championships.
Andreas “Andi” Schmid (Austria) received the award for coaching over 10 Olympians who medalled at each of the five consecutive Olympic Winter Games since 2002, racking up eight Olympic medals. He helped Great Britain secure 50 per cent of all skeleton medals in PyeongChang 2018, with Lizzy Yarnold becoming the first skeleton athlete to retain an Olympic title. Andreas Schmid himself won three medals at World Championships and was overall World Cup Champion in 1987 and 1988.
The world’s first global active cities
Hamburg (Germany), Lillehammer (Norway), Liverpool (UK) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) feature among six cities that now share an unprecedented label. Named the world’s first global active cities in a programme backed by the IOC, all the cities have worked hard to offer all their residents the opportunity to choose active and healthy lifestyles and improve their well-being.
The Global Active City programme was founded by Evaleo, a sustainable health association, and The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA), with the support of the IOC. Each city has embraced a management model that motivates people at risk of inactivity-related illnesses to take up regular physical activity and sport. In order to receive the Global Active City label, they each had to pass an independent audit with a stringent review of their physical activity and sports strategies and working practices.
To read the full IOC press release, please click here.