IOC awards Olympic Order to WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus


Lausanne (Switzerland), June 20 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday presented the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, with the Olympic Order for his inspirational role in ensuring the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 took place despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Olympic Order was presented to Dr Tedros, for his support of the cooperation agreement between the IOC and the WHO signed in 2020, by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach at the Olympic House here on Tuesday.

At the same time, the IOC honoured the WHO, as an organisation, with the Olympic Cup for 2021.

The collaboration between IOC and WHo has led to a number of joint initiatives and programmes for healthier communities through sport, the latest being the Let’s Move campaign for this year’s Olympic Day, the IOC informed in a release on

The Let’s Move initiative shines a light on the benefits of moving more and contributes to the IOC’s Olympism365 strategy, where one of the key aims is to increase access to sports opportunities, and bring the health and societal benefits of physical activity to communities in all corners of the globe, the release said.

“For many of our initiatives we rely on the expertise, input and engagement of the WHO,” President Bach explained. “In this respect, you, dear Tedros, have set the pace – because from the very day we signed our cooperation agreement, you have led by example, driving our cooperation forward with so much energy, leadership and commitment.”

Reflecting on the unprecedented challenge of organising Tokyo 2020, the first-ever Games to be postponed in Olympic history, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Bach described the personal support and guidance he received from Dr Tedros as crucial.

“I would like to again express my heartfelt thanks to you because from the outset you supported the Playbooks and made your support known publicly to instil confidence in the athletes, the Japanese Organising Committee, the National Olympic Committees and the public at large,” Bach said on the occasion.

“You stood with us all the way. You kept your promise and came to Tokyo, where you addressed the IOC Session and a worldwide audience. This is why it is fair to say that, without your steadfast personal support, these Olympic Games could not have happened in this safe way,” he said.

President Bach invited Dr Tedros to be an IOC guest of honour at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

A special honour for WHO

During the ceremony, IOC President Bach also honoured the WHO with the Olympic Cup for 2021, in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The cooperation of the two organisations has also been focusing on the importance of sport for physical and mental health.

The Olympic Cup is a unique award and was created in 1906 by the IOC’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin. The Olympic Cup is the highest distinction for an organisation with a proven record of promoting the ideals of the Olympic Movement.



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