With all eyes on the gold, one medal of significant prestige has not been won this year at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
The Rio 2016 Summer Olympics are nearing its end, and the world is anticipating the final results, and the crowing of this run’s winning nation.
Athletes train for years and decades to participate in the Olympics, but yet medals are given according to performance and results. However, there’s one medal, considered by many as the highest honor in the Olympics, which is given to recognize outstanding sportsmanship in an Olympic event.
The Pierre de Coubertin medal is an honorary decorative medal given out by the International Olympics Committee to athletes, former athletes, sports promoters, sporting officials and anyone who shows high spirit of sportsmanship in an Olympic event or serves an Olympic movement.
Even though not awarded at every Olympic games, the medal was first given out in 1964 and was named after Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee.
What the Olympic Museum calls “one of the noblest honours that can be bestowed upon an Olympic athlete”, has been given out over the years to both athletes and non-athletes for various reasons.
The Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux was awarded the The Pierre de Coubertin medal after saving Singaporean sailors mid-race. At the 1988 Finn class competition in Seoul, South Korea, Lemieux left his second place in the race to help two nearby sailors after their boat capsized.
German long jumper, Luz Long, was given the medal posthumously after his tip for American Jesse Owens was made public. In a 1964 documentary, Owens credited his win and qualification to a tip Long had given him. When Jesse Owens had hard luck qualifying, Luz Long helped him measure a foot back of the takeoff board and Owens qualified to win the final event.
The Rio 2016 Olympic games are almost over, with thousands of astonishing performances from athletes all over the world. But who has given to sports enough to win the Pierre de Coubertin medal? Let’s wait and see.