Raffaele Pagnozzi, the secretary general of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), has been awarded the highest honour in Italian sport.
Pagnozzi, Chef de Mission of the Italian team for 10 consecutive Olympics from Lillehammer 1994 to London 2012, was honoured as one of three 2018 personalities who received the Collari D'oro award for his lifelong service to sport and the Olympic Movement in Italy and across Europe.
The presentation took place at the 2018 Collari d’Oro awards ceremony at the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) Sala delle Armi base in Rome.
"It is a great honour for me to receive the highest award of Italian sport, to which I am greatly attached," Pagnozzi said.
"I have dedicated my entire life to sport, first in my home country, Italy, and now pursuing the Olympic mission in Europe.
Pagnozzi has held his current position with the EOC since 2006 and has given many years of service to CONI, as chief executive from 2003 to 2013, and as secretary general from 1993 to 2013.
Besides his administrative experience, he has always been passionate about sport, especially in sailing where he won silver at the 1999 J-24 World Championships.
He also played rugby for many years and continues to be a fan.
The CONI Collari d'Oro awards ceremony is held annually to recognise the best of Italian sport.
Italian Olympic and Paralympic champions, highly distinguished stars, personalities and organisations which have significantly contributed to sport in Italy are recognised.