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The Pierre de Coubertin medal (also known as the De Coubertin medal or the True Spirit of Sportsmanship medal) is a special decoration awarded by the International Olympic Committee to those athletes, former athletes, sports promoters, sporting officials and others who exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship in Olympic events or through exceptional service to the Olympic movement.[1][2]

The medal was inaugurated in 1964 and named in honour of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee. According to the Olympic Museum, it "is one of the noblest honours that can be bestowed upon an Olympic athlete."[3]



# Athlete Country Event Date Place
1 Luz Long   Germany 1936 Summer Olympics 1964 (Awarded posthumously) Berlin, Germany
2 Eugenio Monti   Italy 1964 Winter Olympics 1964 Innsbruck, Austria
3 Franz Jonas[4]   Austria - July 1969 Vienna, Austria
4 Karl Heinz Klee   Austria 1976 Winter Olympics February 1977 Innsbruck, Austria
5 Lawrence Lemieux   Canada 1988 Summer Olympics September 1988 Seoul, South Korea
6 Justin Harley McDonald   Australia 1994 Winter Olympics 1994 Lillehammer, Norway
7 Raymond Gafner    Switzerland 1999
8 Emil Zátopek   Czechoslovakia 1952 Summer Olympics December 6, 2000 (Awarded posthumously) Helsinki, Finland
9 Spencer Eccles   United States 2002 Winter Olympics February 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
10 Tana Umaga   New Zealand 2003 Rugby Test Match June 2003 Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
11 Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima[5]   Brazil 2004 Summer Olympics August 29, 2004 Athens, Greece
12 Elena Novikova-Belova   Belarus 2007 XI International Scientific Congress May 17, 2007 Minsk, Belarus
13 Shaul Ladany   Israel "unusual outstanding sports achievements during a span covering over four decades"[6] May 17, 2007 Minsk, Belarus
14 Petar Cupać
Ivan Bulaja
Pavle Kostov
  Croatia 2008 Summer Olympics November 18, 2008 Beijing, China
15 Ronald Harvey   Australia April 2, 2009
16 Richard Garneau   Canada 2014 Winter Olympics February 6, 2014 (Awarded posthumously) Sochi, Russia
17 Michael Hwang [7]   Singapore "exceptional services to the Olympic movement" October 13, 2014 Singapore, Singapore
18 Eduard von Falz-Fein [8]   Liechtenstein "long service to the Olympic movement" February 17, 2017 Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Some news media reported on 22 August 2016 that Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino had received the medal after colliding with each other on the track during the 5000m event and assisting each other to continue the race.[9] The New Zealand Olympic Committee said that no such award had yet been made,[10] and The Guardian later corrected their report confirming "the award was the International Fair Play Committee Award rather than the Pierre de Coubertin award."[9]


“Nash didn't win because I gave him the bolt. He won because he had the fastest run.”
Eugenio Monti when interviewed after giving a bolt from his own bobsled to his competitors, the British bobsled team, at the 1964 Winter Olympics. Monti was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for his sportsmanship.
“It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Lutz Long at that moment."
Jesse Owens after being advised by his competitor, Lutz Long, at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Long was posthumously awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for his sportsmanship.[11]
"I can't accept Emanuel's medal. I'm happy with mine. It's bronze but means gold."
Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, in September 1, 2004, after Brazilian beach volleyball player Emanuel Rego, who won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games, gave his gold medal to him on a television program. Deeply touched, Vanderlei returned it.[12]
"Victory due to the opponents’ inadequate equipment is not a merit. Co-operation among sports people is a fundamental part of Olympism."
- Australian Justin Harley McDonald, Bobsleigh, who won the Pierre de Coubertin Fair Play Trophy 1994 for Act of Fair Play. McDonald was the first Australian to be awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Fair Play Trophy.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "BBC SPORT - Olympics 2008 blog". Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Random Human Neural Firings: February 2010". Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "Angel or demon? The choice of fair play". Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  4. ^ Newsletter No. 22, Comité international olympique, Château de Vidy 1007 Lausanne, p. 402
  5. ^ "Lima Vanderlei receives the Pierre de Coubertin medal - Olympic News". 21 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Sports Shorts – Israel News". Haaretz. September 12, 2007. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Singapore Lawyer Michael Hwang receives the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for his Services to the Olympic Movement - Singapore National Olympic Council". 13 October 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "IOC President visits Liechtenstein - International Olympic Committee". 17 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "New Zealand and US runners awarded for sportsmanship". The Guardian. 21 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Rio Olympics: Kiwi runner Nikki Hamblin in line for rare Pierre de Coubertin honour". Stuff. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  11. ^ Schwartz, Larry (2007). " Owens pierced a myth". Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Emanuel surpreende e oferece sua medalha de ouro para Vanderlei Cordeiro" [Emanuel surprises and offers his gold medal to Vanderlei Cordeiro] (in Portuguese). Folha Online. September 1, 2004. Retrieved August 8, 2012.