Special European Olympic Committees award for David Hemery
Thursday, 24 November 2011
November 24 - Britain's David Hemery, the 1968 Olympic 400 metres champion, was today awarded the prestigious European Olympic Committees' (EOC) 2011 Laurel Award here.
Hemery received the award at the 40th EOC General Assembly from Ireland's Patrick Hickey, President of the EOC.
The Laurel Award is bestowed by the EOC to individuals in Europe who have achieved remarkable sporting merit and have performed outstanding services for sport in their country.
"It is a great privilege for me to have received this award," said the 68-year-old Hemery, who is now the vice-chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA).
"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 honour and am grateful to receive it."
Among those present to see Hemery receive the award were Colin Moynihan, the chairman of the BOA, and Andy Hunt, the chief executive.
"David Hemery is one of Europe's great Olympic champions and a very worthy recipient of the EOC Laurel Award," said Moynihan.
"His contribution to the Olympic Movement has been immense since winning gold in 1968 through to his current role as the BOA's vice-chairman.
"We, the BOA Board and staff, are delighted for David and wish him our most sincere congratulations."
Hemery was one of three distinguished figures to receive the Laurel Award.
The others were France's Alain Calmat, the 1964 Olympic figure skating silver medallist and his country's former Sports Minister, and Portugal's Luis Santos, who has played a strategic role in the promotion of handball in his country.
Later, Polish cyclist Tobiasz Lis was the first receipent of an award for most promising young sportperson in Europe created in honour of Piotr Nurowski, the former President of the Polish Olympic Committee (POC) who was killed in a plane crash last year.
The ceremony for the first Piotr Nurowski prize took place during the closing dinner of the General Assembly, attended by Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Russian Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge.
Britain's Tom Daley, the former world diving champion, came third in the competition.