The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, i.e. recognition of efforts worth of merit in the cause of sport. It was established in May 1975 by the International Olympic Committee as a successor to the Olympic Certificate. The Olympic Order originally had three grades (gold, silver and bronze), although the bronze grade fell dormant in 1984. Traditionally, the IOC bestows the Olympic Order upon the chief national organiser(s) at the closing ceremony of each respective Olympic Games.
The insignia of the Olympic Order is in the form of a collar (or chain), in Gold, Silver or Bronze according to grade; the front of the chain depicts the five rings of the Olympic Movement, flanked on either side by kotinos emblem (olive wreath). A lapel badge, in the form of the five rings in Gold, Silver and Bronze according to grade, is presented to recipients to wear as appropriate.
Nadia Comăneci is the only athlete to be awarded the Olympic Order twice (1984, 2004), as well as being its youngest ever recipient.
The following is a list of recipients of the Olympic Order.
- 1976: Paul Anspach (Bronze), Jesse Owens, Antonio dos Reis Carneiro (Bronze)
- 1979: Marcel Leclef (Bronze)
- 1980: Almicare Rotta
- 1981: Herbert Kunze
- 1982: Pope John Paul II (Gold), Károly Kárpáti, Elena Mukhina 
- 1983: Ulrich Wehling, Galina Kulakova, Manfred Ewald, Aleksandr Medved, Esther Roth-Shahamorov, Indira Gandhi, Branko Mikulić (Gold), Nadia Comăneci
- 1984: Peter Ueberroth, Giancarlo Brusati, Milan Ercegan, Primo Nebiolo, Günther Sabetzki, Horst Dassler, Helene Ahrweiler
- 1985: Erich Honecker, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Günther Sabetzki, Toni Sailer, Hanji Aoki, Borislav Stanković (second in 2005), King Juan Carlos I of Spain
- 1987: Leon Štukelj, King Rama IX of Thailand (Gold), Kenan Evren (Gold), John Brown, Alberto Juantorena, Jean-Claude Killy, Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak, Rudolf Hellmann
- 1988: Manfred von Brauchitsch, Katarina Witt, Frank King (Gold), Ralph Klein, Reiner Klimke, Jerzy Kukuczka (Silver), Prince Rainier III of Monaco (Gold), Antonio Mariscal, Josef Neckermann, Jasdev Singh, Taieb Houichi, Ante Lambasa, Wolf Lyberg, Frederick Ruegsegger, Aladár Gerevich, Mustapha Larfaoui, Arne B. Mollén
- 1989: Larisa Latynina
- 1990: Giulio Andreotti (Gold), Lee Kun-hee, Jonathan Janson, Rudolf Kárpáti, Reizo Koike, Naoto Tajima, Ivan Patzaichin, Lamine Diack, Arnoldo Devonish
- 1992: Ludovit Komadel (Silver), Jesús Alfonso Elizondo Nájera (Silver), Pasqual Maragall
- 1993: Willi Daume, Jacques Blanc, Anna Sinilkina, Ted Stevens, Jordi Pujol i Soley, Dražen Petrović (posthumously awarded), Boris Yeltsin (Gold)
- 1994: Gerhard Heiberg, Richard von Weizsäcker (Nr. 43), Nelson Mandela
- 1995: Miguel Indurain, Jerald M. Jordan (Silver)
- 1996: Billy Payne
- 1997: Chris de Broglio, Hendrika Mastenbroek, Roy Jones Jr.(vs Park Si Hun 1988 Olympic)
- 1998: Frédy Girardet, Chung Ju-yung, Erica Terpstra, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
- 1999: Alexander Tikhonov, Steffi Graf, Antonio Spallino, Bertrand Piccard, Brian Jones
- 2000: Res Brügger, Alberto Tomba, David Coleman, Adolf Ogi (Gold), John Coates (Gold), Alida van den Bos
- 2001: See list below
- 2002: Mitt Romney, Peter Blake (Posthumously awarded), Shirley de la Hunty (Strickland), Wayne Gretzky, Miroslav Šubrt, Walter Bush Jr., Shoichi Tomita, Flor Isava-Fonseca, Ashwini Kumar, David Wallechinsky
- 2003: John Williams, Adolf Ogi, Jean Durry
- 2004: Matthias Kleinert, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Francoise Zweifel, Johannes Rau (Gold), Nadia Comăneci
- 2005: Shirley Babashoff
- 2006: Hans Wilhelm Gäb, Valentino Castellani
- 2008: Liu Qi (Gold), He Zhenliang, Liu Jingmin, Deng Pufang, Chen Zhili
- 2009: Thor Nilsen
- 2010: S R Nathan (Gold), Lee Hsien Loong (Gold), Jack Poole (Gold; posthumously awarded), John Furlong (Gold), Ng Eng Hen, Teo Chee Hean, Vivian Balakrishnan
- 2011: Fernando Lima Bello, Kip Keino, Vilnis Baltiņš
- 2012: Eiichi Kawatei, David Stern, Sebastian Coe
- 2013: King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (Gold), Jacques Rogge (Gold), King Felipe VI of Spain (Gold), Pope Francis (Gold),
- Year unknown: Manfred Germar, Klaus Kotter.
- Albert Scharf (at the IOC headquarters, Lausanne, January 8, 2001)
- Enrique Sanz (at the IOC headquarters, Lausanne, June 8, 2001)
- Richard Bunn, Great Britain
- René Burkhalter, Switzerland
- Arnold Green, Estonia
- Félix Savón, Cuba
- Eric Walter, Switzerland, sports journalist, former member of the IOC Press Commission and IOC Radio and Television Commission.
- Myriam Bédard (biathlon), Canada
- David Douillet (judo), France
- Krisztina Egerszegi (swimming), Hungary
- Cathy Freeman (athletics), Australia
- Kazuyoshi Funaki (ski jumping), Japan
- Alexander Karelin (wrestling), Russia
- Marco Marin (fencing), Italy
- Haile Gebrselassie (athletics), Ethiopia
- Naim Süleymanoğlu (weightlifting), Turkey
- Pirmin Zurbriggen (alpine skiing), Switzerland
Former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch also received the Olympic Order (Gold grade), at the 112th IOC Session at Moscow.
- John Brown AO
- John D. Coates AC (Gold)
- Betty Cuthbert AM MBE
- John Devitt AM
- Herb Elliott AC MBE
- Robert Elphinston OAM
- Michael Eyers AM
- John Fitzgerald AM
- Shane Gould MBE
- Dawn Fraser AO MBE
- Cathy Freeman OAM
- Harry Gordon CMG AM
- Sydney Grange AO OBE MVO (Deceased)
- Geoffrey Henke AO
- Di Henry OAM
- Sandy Hollway AO
- The Hon John Howard OM AC SSI (Gold)
- Stephan Kerkyasharian AM
- The Hon Michael Knight AO (Gold)
- Bob Leece AM
- Margaret McLennan
- Norman May OAM
- Peter Montgomery OAM
- Mick O'Brien AM
- Professor Lowitja O'Donoghue AO CBE
- Julius Patching AO OBE
- William Berge Phillips OBE (Deceased)
- David Richmond AO (Gold)
- Jim Sloman OAM
- Shirley de la Hunty (Strickland) AO MBE (Deceased)
- Brian Tobin AM
- S R Nathan (Gold)
- Lee Hsien Loong (Gold)
- Teo Chee Hean (Silver)
- Vivian Balakrishnan (Silver)
- Ng Eng Hen (Silver)
- Tan Eng Liang (Silver)
- Chris Chan (Silver)
- Goh Kee Nguan (Silver)
- Francis Chong (Silver)
- Eric Tan Huck Gim (Silver)
- Sebastian Coe (Gold)
- Paul Deighton (Gold)
- Doug Arnot (Silver - American, given for services to London 2012)
- James Bulley (Silver)
- Richard George (Silver)
- Debbie Jevans (Silver)
- Ian Johnston (Silver)
- Keith Mills (Silver)
- Colin Moynihan (Silver)
- Gerry Pennell (Silver)
- Jean Tomlin (Silver)
- David Coleman (Silver??)
- Olympic symbols
- Bertoni, Milano
- Recipients of the Olympic Order
- Olympic Cup
- Pierre de Coubertin medal
Notes and references
- "Olympic awards." (PDF). Olympic Review (Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Olympic Committee). 107-108: 505–506. September–October 1976. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- Olympic awards obtained (Olympic Review No. 206)
- "Speech given by J.A. Samaranch, President of the IOC, before awarding the Gold Medal of the Olympic Order to Pope John Paul II" (PDF). The LA84 Foundation. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- "Presidential activities (Olympic Review No. 184)" (PDF).
- "Message from Elena Mukhina" (PDF).
- "A courageous lesson from Elena Mouchina" (PDF).
- Olympic Order (23rd IOA Session)
- Opening of the 86th Session (Olympic Review No. 186)
- Olympic Awards presented at the 87th IOC Session (Olympic Review No. 197)
- Olympic Order (Olympic Review No. 204)
- Chronology of the Candidature (Official Report of the Games of the XXV Olympiad Barcelona 1992)
- Olympic Order (92nd IOC Session)
- Olympic Order (93rd IOC Session)
- Olympic Order (94th IOC Session)
- Olympic Order (96th IOC Session in Tokyo)
- Olympic Order (101st IOC Session)
- Olympic Order (Olympic Review No. 313)
- Gold Olympic Order for Yeltsin (Olympic Review No. 303)
- Presidential Visit to Southern Africa (Olympic Review No. 326)
- Olympic Order
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- 12th IOC Session highlights
- "Olympic Order awarded to outstanding athletes". IOC. June 19, 2001. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
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