April 11 - Bruno Grandi, President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), has been awarded the title of Dr Honoris Causa, Japan's highest honour, by the Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU) in Tokyo in recognition of his career of more than 50 years in international sport.
The Italian received the honour in a ceremony attended by some of Japan's leading figures in sport, including Masato Mizuno, Noriyuki Ichihara and Chiharu Igaya – vice-president, executive director and honorary member of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) respectively; President of the Japan Gymnastics Association (JGA) Hidenori Futagi; and Ryosho Tanigama, Shigeaki Abe and Daizo Hakamada - President and vice-presidents of NSSU at Tokyo's Nittaidai University.
"My gratitude to Japan's sport and scholarly authorities; I applaud the immense gymnastic culture and tradition that your country continues to foster today," Grandi said in his acceptance speech.
"This title honours the international gymnastics community to which I have devoted my entire career, and which I continue to serve.
"I am proud of how far we've come, and look forward to the objectives and mission I have embraced and with which the 130 FIG affiliated federations have entrusted me through a new mandate at the head of the FIG."
Grandi was a national-level gymnast as a teenager before becoming a coach and selector for Italy's men's team.
The 78-year-old later became President of the Gymnastics Federation of Italy (FGI) between 1977 and 2000, was a vice-president of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and was named in the position he holds still today as the FIG President in 1996.
Grandi was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2001 and is the recipient of the Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit distinction.
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