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Rio 2016 Fair Play Awards - true meaning of being an Olympian

rio fair play 2016 

20th of August, 2016 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

On a sunny mid-day in the Rio Olympic Park at The Olympic Club invited guests gathered to celebrate the Rio 2016 Fair Play Awards. Amongst the guests: members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), leaders of National Olympic Committees and International Federations  - accompanied by the courageous athletes who demonstrated the true meaning of being an Olympian.

Mr Philip French, IOC Director of Public Affairs & Social Development through Sports, the IOC department responsible for its partnership with the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) welcomed all and elaborated on the significant value the IOC attached to this relationship. He was followed by The Honorable Sunil Sabharwal, from CIFP, who provided a brief background to the Awards, which for the first time specifically targeted actions during the Games and submissions were open to everyone via multiple social media channels as well. CIFP President, Dr Jeno Kamuti, elaborated on how happy he was that such an illustrious group had gathered - thus truly signifying how important the awards are to the Olympic family.

Sir Philip Craven, President of IPC, IOC Member and a member of CIFP, exclaimed how honored he was to have been asked to speak about Fair Play and introduce the commemorative book that has been published on the 50-year anniversary of the fair play movement. Sir Philip gave examples of how judges, referees, parents, etc. in leadership roles – in addition to athletes  - can help build awareness of Fair Play.  

Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC Vice President, who attended on behalf of Dr Thomas Bach, IOC President, reiterated the importance of Fair Play, “We have been inspired by great moments of sportsmanship – sport teaches us to respect ourselves and each other.” 

CIFP received 14 nominations for the Awards. The Jury was composed of  Steve Wilson (Associated Press), Claudia Bokel (Chair of IOC Athletes Commission) and Messrs. Kamuti and Sabharwal. 

The events highlights included the individual prize award to both Abbey D’Agostino (USA) and Nikki Hamblin (NZL) for their incredible act of helping encouraging one another to finish the 5000m after tripping. Abbey had to fly back to the USA for surgery and her award was collected by Ms. Rose Monday, USA Women’s distance coach and Mr. Vin Lananna, USA Head Track & Field Coach. Nikki Hamblin was there in person humbly accepting the award and stating that anyone in her place would have done the same. Their shared act of Fair Play, mutual respect, and inspiration to all athletes will go down in history as one of the greatest moments of sporting legacy. 

The team award was given to the Men's Handball team of Norway. During the European Team Handball Championships in January 2016, Norway had the opportunity to lodge a protest since an additional German player was found to be on the court when Germany scored the winning goal in the last few seconds of play. After much debate, the Norway Handball Team decided that the field of play is what should decide whether a team wins or loses and withdrew its protest. As this was a qualifier event, Germany advanced to the Olympics and Norway was eliminated.

The winners have and will always inspire athletes young and old and the International Fair Play Committee will continue to showcase all that is good and fair about sport. 

For a sample of Fair Play acts watch the Olympic Fair Play YouTube channel. For further questions, please contact secretarygeneral@fairplayinternational.org

Related news: IOC

CIFP is an IOC-recognized organization created in 1963 to promote the ideals of fair play on the sports field and beyond. Apart from its traditional award events, it organizes seminars and other educational initiatives aimed at educating the youth including an active presence at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) with a comprehensive educational program.