LONDON, August 2, 2012
Six great Laureus Olympians were guests of honour at a special event organised by AIPS, the international journalists’ association, and supported by Laureus, to celebrate the XXXth Olympic Games currently taking place in London.
The Laureus Academy Members and Ambassadors present were Chairman Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Dawn Fraser, Kip Keino, Tegla Laroupe and Emma Snowsill and they all joined together to give a standing ovation to 89-year-old Harrison Dillard, the oldest living winner of a 100 metres gold medal.
Dillard won the 100 metres when the Olympic Games was last held in London in 1948, he also won a second gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay. Four years later in Helsinki he won two more gold medals - in the 110 metres hurdles and the 4 x 100 metres relay once again.
Edwin Moses, a double Olympic gold medallist in the 400 metres hurdles, said: “This is a great man. He was one of the athletes that inspired me and I am so pleased that we are able to pay our own personal tribute to him. He is a bridge between different generations. He knew the great Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals in 1936, and now he is here to share this moment with us.”
Harrison Dillard said: “When we were here in London in 1948 it was so different. It was just after the Second World War and there wasn’t even an athletes’ village. But we were just glad that we were able to compete. It has been great to visit these Olympic Games in London and be at this event.”
Also present was Gianni Merlo, President of AIPS. Members of the media who had covered ten or more Olympic Games were also honoured and presented with souvenir Olympic torches.
Edwin Moses congratulated them and said: “The media’s support for Laureus is so important. It is the media who accompany us on our visits and inform the public about the work we do and we look forward to continuing to work together in the future. It is also the Laureus Media Selection Panel who vote for the nominees for the Laureus World Sports Awards. I am sure that some of the terrific outstanding personal performances which we are seeing in London will be reflected at next year’s Laureus Awards Ceremony.”