The International Fair Play Committee announces the Rio 2016 Fair Play Awards, but spends most of the time congratulating themselves

Raymond Chen

The International Fair Play Committee announced the winners of the Rio 2016 Fair Play Awards, though you’ll be hard-pressed to find those winners because the press release spends over 300 words congratulating themselves by listing various officials who gave speeches about the importance of fair play, before finally getting around to naming the athletes. Y’know, the people who actually won the award.

And they didn’t even name all the athletes!

The outline of the announcement went like this:

In attendance were the members of the International Olympic Committee, leaders of the National Olympic Committees and International Federations, accompanied by athletes. [So nice of the athletes to accompany the sporteaucrats.]

Mr. Philip French, IOC Director of Public Affairs & Social Development through Sport, gave a welcoming speech.

The Honorable Sunil Sabharwal, from the International Fair Play Committee, provided background for the Awards.

Dr. Jeno Kamuti, president of the International Fair Play Committee, elaborated on how important the awards are to the Olympic family.

Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, member of the International Olympic Committee, and member of the International Fair Play Committee, introduced a commemorative book in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the International Fair Play Committee. [Look at us, we’re so awesome! We even created a book about ourselves!]

Nawal El Moutawakel, International Olympic Committee Vice President, attending on behalf of Dr. Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee President, talked about the importance of Fair Play.

The award jury consisted of Steve Wilson, Claudia Bokel, Dr. Jeno Kamuti, and the Honorable Sunil Sabharwal.

The individual winners were Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin for encouraging each other at the 5000m race after they both fell.

The team winners were the Norwegian Men’s Handball team for allowing the results of the European semi-final match against Germany to stand despite Germany having too many players on the field when the winning goal was scored.

The press release spent more time talking about various officials of sporting organizations than talking about the athletes who actually won the awards. This is the type of thinking that leads to a sports movie where the heroes are the bureaucrats.

Also, the group photograph of the winners is not labeled, so who knows who they are.


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