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  • No Londoners Among Olympic Orders


    The IOC Executive Board meeting in Quebec City. (ATR)
    (ATR) A head of state is passed over for the IOC’s top award, the Olympic Order – but so too are leaders of the London Olympics.

    Documents obtained by Around the Rings list seven nominees for awards but only four were approved for Olympic Orders by the IOC Executive Board at its meeting in Quebec City last month.

    While the list has not been publicly announced by the IOC, ATR is told that Olympic Order recipients include: the late IOC member from Nigeria Henry Adefope, Olympian in shooting and federation executive Garry Anderson of the U.S.; FINA honorary secretary Bartolo Consolo from Italy; International Modern Pentathlon Union president Klaus Schormann of Germany.

    ATR is told that the EB passed on the nomination of Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    “More information was requested to the NOC of Kazakhstan on Mr. Nazarbayev’s request,” says a source familiar with the nominations.

    Absent from the nominations are Sebastian Coe and Paul Deighton of London 2012, two likely nominees as is customary for organizers of successful Games.

    One EB member tells ATR he “will be speaking quietly to the IOC to work out the best approach.

    “The IOC normally recognize senior members of the OCOG after the Games. This might be the best way forward.”
    Meanwhile a spokeswoman for the IOC says “the list is not finalized yet and will be made public closer to the Games” .

    Nominees seem to be unaware of their status, telling ATR they didn’t know they were nominated and declining to comment until receiving written confirmation from the IOC.

    Nazarbayev is president of Kazakhstan and nominated by his country’s National Olympic Committee president, despite having few Olympic connections.

    Nursultan Nazarbayev with the Olympic torch in 2008. (Getty Images)
    His nomination touts his recent reelection garnering 96 percent of the vote, and his 21-year term as Kazakh president, his call to the United Nations to establish an “International Day Against Nuclear Tests” and his directive for the government “to provide increased opportunities for women to serve in leadership positions in politics and government.”

    In 2008, Nazarbayev was the first torchbearer in Kazakhstan, but his nomination makes no mention of this.

    Human rights watchdogs have criticized Kazakhstan for perceived human rights abuses under Nazarbayev and the country is currently rated as “not free” by Freedom House.

    Henry Adefope at the Athens Olympics. (ATR)
    Adefope, was nominated for the award posthumously by IOC President Jacques Rogge. The nomination document for Adefope lists his biography which includes 21 years as an IOC member. Adefope died on March 11.

    Nominated by IOC member Olegario Vazquez Rana, Anderson is a three-time Olympian, winning gold in the 300m rifle event at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. Anderson then went on to become an administrator with shooting sport, currently serving as a vice president of the International Shooting Sport Federation.

    Consolo was nominated by Gianni Petrucci, president of the National Olympic Committee of Italy for his
    Jacques Rogge (center) most recently awarded the Olympic Order to Lima Bello (left) and Kip Keino (right) at the 2011 IOC Session. (IOC/Richard Juilliart)
    service as an administrator with the International Aquatics Federation, FINA, where eventually became honorary secretary. “His career as a sports leader in the Italian as well as international level has greatly contributed to the renown of Italian sport as a whole,” read his nomination.

    At a little over three-pages in length, Schormann’s is the longest nominee. His was proposed by Thomas Bach, IOC Vice President. Schormann is president of UIPM, the modern pentathlon federation. The nomination touts his career as a teacher, government official and his honorary positions and awards in addition to his work as a sport administrator.

    Two sports officials were named to receive the Pierre de Coubertin medal which “pays tribute to those who, through their teaching, research and writing of Intellectual works, have contributed to the promotion of Olympism in the spirit of Pierre de Coubertin,” according to the IOC.

    Ice hockey referee Bob Nadin was originally nominated for the Olympic Order by Rene Fasel, IOC Executive Board member and president of the International Ice Hockey Federation, but Around the Rings understands it was changed to the de Coubertin medal. Nadin is a veteran of every Winter Olympics since 1972.

    Peter Ritter, former Liechtenstein Olympic Committee president, was nominated for the Pierre de Coubertin medal by Leo Kranz, current president of the, LOSV.

    Click here to view the entire nomination package.

    Homepage photo from Getty Images. 

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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