The two-day EOC general assembly closed Thursday (ATR)
(ATR) The European Olympic Committees general assembly is headed to Eilat, Israel in 2012.
The Red Sea resort will host the meeting Dec.7 and 8, EOC president Pat Hickey announced Thursday at the association's 40th general assembly in the Russian 2014 Olympic city of Sochi.
Hickey also confirmed to delegates that the EOC will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on April 12 on the sidelines of the Association of National Olympic Committees meeting in Moscow.
At this meeting, members will vote on whether to give the green light to the EOC's ambitious plans for a European Games, as exclusively reported by Around the Rings
The 2011 EOC Order of Merit award was presented to Vitaly Smirnov for his services to the Olympic Movement. The award was given in the presence of Russian NOC president Alexander Zhukov and IOC president Jacques Rogge.
Smirnov was Russia's minister for sport several times over and enjoyed a long period as president of the Russian NOC. A member of the IOC since 1971, he has been a member of the executive board twice and vice president three times. He was also executive president of the organising committee for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
EOC president Pat Hickey announced that Eilat will host the 2012 general assembly (ATR)
More than 300 delegates attended the 40th EOC general assembly which closed today with a dinner hosted by Zhukov.
They included representatives from 48 European NOCs, a large number of IOC members, delegations from the organizers of the next four summer and winter Olympics and the six applicant cities for the 2020 Olympics.
There were three recipients of the EOC's 2011 Laurel Award: British Olympic Association vice chairman David Hemery; France's 1964 Olympic figure skating silver medalist Alain Calmat; and Portugal's handball leader Luis Santos.
The award is handed out by the continental Olympic association to individuals in Europe who have achieved remarkable sporting feats and performed outstanding services for sport in their country.
Hemery, the 400m hurdles gold medalist at the Mexico 1968 Olympics, said it was a "great privilege" to receive the award.
"I have enjoyed every aspect of my involvement in sport including competing, coaching, writing, educating and now developing young people. I was very surprised by this honor and am grateful to receive it," he added.
The candidate cities for the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival were also announced at the EOC meeting.
Gyor in northwest Hungary is the sole candidate for the summer edition, with Sarajevo in Bosnia the only bid for the winter EYOF.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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