LONDON, August 2, 2012 – Edwin Moses, the man who won the 400m hurdles gold at the 1976 and 1984 Olympics, broke four world records and laid claim to one of sport’s greatest winning streaks with an unbeaten 122 races, welcomed international media to the P&G Family Home in London at this morning’s AIPS Olympic Journalists on the Podium celebration.
The Chairman of the Laureus Academy said it was a pleasure to be involved in celebrating the media – more than 100 journalists and photographers who had covered 10 or more Olympic Games.
“Many times we don’t think enough about how the story and the pictures and the news is passed on. It is great to be here to honour the journalists, many of whom have become friends with the athletes,” Mr Moses said.
Joining Mr Moses was his great friend, a very spritely 89-year-old Harrison Dillard, the oldest living Olympic 100m champion (London 1948 and Helsinki 1952).
Mr Dillard joined a host of sports legends when the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) honoured veteran Olympic journalists at the P&G Family Homein London.
89-year-old Dillard won the 100m in 10.3 seconds at the 1948 Olympic Games in London after he botched his hurdles event. He then won gold in the 100m event again in Helsinki four years later in 1952.
The 1948 games were the first time that Olympic judges used photo finish technology.
Also in attendance were Laureus Academy Members Australian swimming greatDawn Fraser, IOC vice president Nawal El Moutawakel who was the first female Muslim athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, Kenyan track and field legend Kip Keino, and current Olympic triathlon champion, Australia’s Emma Snowsill, a Laureus Ambassador.
They were joined by Dick Fosbury, Olympic gold medalist, former President of the World Olympians Association and architect of the back-flip high jump “Fosbury Flop”, former US Olympic swimmer and TV journalist Donna de Varona, Cuban Olympic volleyball star and IOC Member Yumilka Ruiz, and Kenyan long distance world record holder and peace activist Tegla Loroupe, the recipient of the AIPS/CIFP 2010 Promotion of Fair Play award.
Representing IOC vice president and President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) Thomas Bach was IOC Honorary Member, Walther Troeger.
A limited edition London 2012 replica torch produced by AIPS global partner, Honav, was presented to each journalist who had covered ten or more Olympic Games. Representing Honav, Mr Ding Wen said his company was delighted to provide the replica Olympic Torches and highly valued Honav’s association with AIPS and the Olympic Movement.
Phil Duncan, P&G’s Global Design Officer welcomed the media and guests to the P&G Family Home. “We are excited to have so many journalists and elite athletes in our P&G Family Home this morning to recognize the achievements of those journalists who have served the sporting world for 20 Olympic Games. By contrast P&G is just starting on our Olympic partnership. Our company and brands are in the business of helping moms and families and enhancing the Olympic experience,” Mr Duncan said.
“The P&G Family Home is our way of saying thank you. We offer athletes, their moms and families a place to relax, be together as well as enjoy complimentary meals, viewing lounges, do their laundry, and offer exceptional salon services.”
Mr Duncan invited media to tour the home.
AIPS President Gianni Merlo, who has covered 20 Olympic Games, thanked Mr Duncan for opening the P&G Family Home to the world’s media and said, “It is truly an honour to be associated with P&G.”
Merlo presented the very first torch to Jayne Pearce, Head of Olympic Press Operations, LOCOG in appreciation for all her hard work and the “good relationship Jayne and her team have with AIPS”.
This morning’s event was the ideal opportunity for AIPS’ newest partner, Chinese internet technology company NetEase, to announce a unique poll which will see both international and Chinese media vote for the two most popular sports idols at London 2012 (one Chinese and one international). NetEase Sports’ portal has an audience of an incredible 5.38 billion netizens and 3.88 mobile internet netizens.NetEase vice president John Yan told the audience that the winners of the poll will be announced at a gala ceremony in Beijing later this year.
AIPS Executive Committee members who attended the event were 1st Vice-president Esat Yilmaer (Turkey) Treasurer Jorge Ribeiro (Portugal), Vice PresidentNickolai Dolgopolov (Russia – 12 Olympics), members Mohamed al Malki(Qatar), Deszo Dobor (Hungary), and Secretary General Roslyn Morris (Australia). Honorary Life General Secretary Charles Camenzuli (Malta) who has reported from 10 Olympic Games was also present.
Today’s event saw more than 100 top journalists presented with a limited edition Olympic Torch replica produced by AIPS Worldwide Gold Partner, Honav.
Hosting the event was five-time Olympian Charmaine Crooks. Ms Crooks was the first Canadian woman to run 800m in under two minutes, won silver in the 4x400m relay in 1984 in Los Angeles, and was the flag bearer of the 1996 Olympic Games. She was also a founding member of the IOC Ethics Commission
Journalists with more than 10 Olympics, present at the reception
Other Journalists with more than 10 Olympics: