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Olympians receive Fair Play awards, IOC donates skate ramp on Olympic Day

Japanese skateboarder Kokona Hiraki, Australian Poppy Olsen and American speed skater Brittany Bowe have received Fair Play awards from the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) in recognition of their extraordinary display of sporting spirit during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 respectively.

The Olympians received their trophies from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and IOC Athletes’ Commission Chair Emma Terho at the newly inaugurated Espace Fair-Play (Fair Play Space) in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland.

“The values of friendship and fair play are embodied magnificently by Olympians Kokona Hiraki, Poppy Olsen and Brittany Bowe,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Through your actions, you remind us that sport teaches us to always give our best; to live in friendship; and to respect ourselves and others. You are an example to all of us and perfectly symbolise our Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together.”

Speed skating star Brittany Bowe (USA) was named the recipient of the Fair Play award for her golden gesture at the Olympic trials for Beijing 2022. Bowe won the qualifying event, but offered up her place in the women’s 500m to friend and teammate skater Erin Jackson (USA) – ranked number one in the world – who had slipped and fallen.

“Although I came out with the win in that race, I felt everything other than victorious,” said Bowe. “I was thinking, if there’s anything that I can do to put Erin on this team, I would like to do that. If that meant relinquishing my spot to get her an opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games, that’s what I would do – and that’s what I did.”

Jackson went on to become the first US speed skater since Lillehammer 1994 to win a gold medal in the women’s 500m, the first Black American woman to win an Olympic speed skating medal and the first Black woman to earn an individual gold medal at the Winter Games.

“Every time Erin and I have spoken about it, it has brought me to tears… Erin went on to claim that monumental victory. It was an unbelievable story,” said Bowe, who accepted the trophy on behalf of Jackson as well.


For summer sports, the Tokyo 2020 trophy went to skateboarders Kokona Hiraki (JPN), who took silver, and Poppy Olsen (AUS), who received the award on behalf of seven skateboarders. The group of women were honoured for lifting fellow athlete Misugu Okamoto (JPN) after three falls during the women’s skateboarding park finals in Tokyo.

“Misugu is one of our good friends, and an incredible skateboarder,” said Olsen. “In the skateboarding community, we all love each other; we’ve all skated with each other for a long time. We all knew she was really the winner, so we lifted her up on our shoulders.”

The occasion was also marked by the official donation of a large skateable sculpture from the IOC and The Olympic Museum to the City of Lausanne. The ramp was created by renowned contemporary artist Rylsee, in consultation with the skateboarding community. Following its reshaping to make it more publicly accessible and its relocation to the Espace Fair-Play for Olympic Day, it will now be open for the public and Lausanne community to freely enjoy.

"The city would like to warmly thank the IOC for the donation of this ramp – a work of art," said Émilie Moeschler, City Councillor in charge of sport and social cohesion. "It marks the deep-rooted and long-standing relationship that the city and its people have with the IOC. It will undoubtedly be a flagship feature of the Espace Fair-Play.”

The skate ramp was commissioned as part of The Olympic Museum’s temporary exhibition, “Riding the Olympic Wave”, which celebrated the new, urban sports on the Olympic programme and the links between the sporting and artistic communities.

When dedicating the ramp to the people of Lausanne, the IOC President said: “This ramp is a true celebration of sport and culture, two worlds that were dear to our founder, Pierre de Coubertin. With these facilities, the people of Lausanne will have the opportunity to move even more, to get together and to share the values of sport.”

The International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) has recognised acts of sportsmanship at the Olympic Games through the Fair Play Awards ever since Beijing 2008. It is an IOC-recognised organisation created in 1963 to promote the ideals of fair play on the sports field and beyond. In addition to the Fair Play awards, it promotes global educational initiatives aimed at young people.

“It was wonderful to see that, despite the difficulties of COVID in Tokyo and Beijing, these athletes truly exemplified the Olympic values,” said Sunil Sabharwal, Secretary General of the CIFP. “It is also incredibly poignant that we were able to honour these incredible women in a public skate park that is being inaugurated in the Olympic Capital.”

Led by Olympians and created in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Let’s Move campaign marks Olympic Day 2023 with an invitation to all to make time every day for movement for better health.


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Thnks for the honorable cooperation and support for the International Olympic Committee and for the Foundation for Global Sports Development!


Source: IOC Media; photos: © IOC Media Greg Martin; CIFP