President Medvedev recognises top sports officials
President Medvedev recognises top sports officials and Russian champions at Presidential Palace ceremony
MOSCOW, November 24, 2011 - The President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev has been presented with the highest state awards of the Republic of Russia at a ceremony held at his Presidential Residence in Gorki, outside Moscow, Russia. The ceremony took place on Tuesday, November 22.
Other than the new laureates of the Russian State Order, President Medvedev also invited all Russian athletes who had won 2011 World Championship titles for Russia in Olympic Winter and Summer Sports.
He presented the Order of Friendship to President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge, President of the International Weightlifting Federation Tamas Ajan (IWF), President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Lamine Diack and President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Rene Fasel.
In his speech, Dmitry Medvedev held the awardees Rogge, Ajan, Diack and Fasel in very high regard:
"Without exaggeration, your work defines the modern history of the Olympic movement and sport, and I am particularly pleased that our foreign guests present here share a friendly attitude towards our country, which is very important for us. Thank you for this, we value it highly.
"Today, in front of all our athletes I want to present high state decorations for your outstanding contribution to the development of sport cooperation with our country. First I would like to mention Mr Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee.
"Under your leadership over the past ten years the programmes of summer and winter Olympics have improved greatly while the Youth Olympic Games have given a new impetus to the entire Olympic movement.
"We are very pleased that such awarding ceremony is taking place in Russia. I would also like to mention your other achievements: initiatives to strengthen cooperation between governments and NGOs in the development of sports, effective anti-doping programs and strategies, and a number of other very important decisions.
I also congratulate on receiving these high honours President of the International Weightlifting Federation Tamas Ajan, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Lamine Diack and President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel."
After the awards ceremony, Dmitry Medvedev spoke with Russian athletes – winners of world champions of the year.
The President also held a discussion with heads of international sports organisations.