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Here is one you may not have heard before, but did you know there is a 4th type of Olympic medal. In fact, not many people have received the medal, outside of the original bronze, silver and gold which are awarded at the games.
The medal called Pierre De Coubertin medal named after the founder of the Olympic games is awarded to athletes and people in the sports industry that show good sportsmanship and those who have made noteworthy contributions to the Olympic games themselves. Mentalfloss.com state that this medal is not handed out at every games, it is handed out when the International Olympic Committee feels someone has earned it hard enough. Let’s take a look at five people who have picked up the award in recent years.
- Shaul Ladany – A self trained Israeli who never won a medal at the Olympics. However, what you may know is that Ladany survived the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Additionally, the Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Ladany speaks 8 languages which is remarkable considering most people would be lucky to speak two. He has also written books, 100 scholarly papers and is also a professor in engineering. He added a Pierre De Coubertin medal to his long list of achievements in 2007.
- Michael Hwang – Michael Hwang is a Singaporean barrister and arbitrator. Mr Hwang was appointed a judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1991. He was appointed as one of the first eight senior counsel in Singapore in 1997. He has also served as President of the Law Society of Singapore from 2008 to 2010. Additionally, he is currently the chief Justice of the Dubai International Finance Courts. It was 2014 that Hwang was awarded the Pierre De Coubertin medal for services to the International Council of Arbitration for Sports.
- Eduard von Falz-Fein – Von Falz-Fein was a Russian born-Liechtensteiner who was a businessman, sportsman and journalist. He was born in 1912 and died in 2018. He served as a sports diplomat who started the Olympic movement in Liechtenstein. Moreover, he picked up the award in 2017. Thomas Bach IOC President said, “He was a true pioneer in sport. Founding the Liechtenstein Olympic Committee and organising the country’s first Olympic team are just a few examples of his many remarkable contributions to Olympic history. The entire Olympic Movement and myself will always remember Baron von Falz-Fein for his passion for sport and contribution to Olympic sport”.
- Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima – Some Irish fans remember this athlete. De Lima was running in the Athens Olympic Marathon in 2004 and was leading with 4 miles to go. However, an Irish priest, Neil Horan, jumped out in front of him from the crowd which all but cost De Lima the gold medal. The Brazilian picked up the Pierre De Coubertin medal for sportsmanship during that race.
5. Lawrence Lemieux – A Canadian sailor who was i second place in the Finn class competition at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He showed great sportsmanship when coming to the aid of two Singapore sailors whose both was capsizing. Lemieux abandoned his race to assist. He pulled both sailors onto his own boat, before continuing with his own race. He would only manage to finish 11th. However, he was given the silver medal as well as the Coubertin award for his sportsmanship.