IOC President travels to Santos to present Pelé with the Olympic Order

17 Jun 2016
IOC News

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, was honoured with the Olympic Order in his home town of Santos on Thursday.

Speaking at the ceremony IOC President Thomas Bach said “when Pele was in his prime, Brazil were undisputedly the best team in the world. We could never blame Pelé for our defeats because of the beauty he brought to the game and the elegant way the Brazilians played. They were simply a joy to watch.”

The IOC  had had to deliberate for “seconds” to decide whether or not to award him the Olympic Order, he added.

Receiving the award - the IOC's highest distinction - Pelé thanked the IOC President for bringing the Olympic Order to his home town. “It was from Santos that I went on to conquer the world,” said the footballing legend. 

Joining the IOC President at the ceremony was the Brazilian NOC President and President of the Rio2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Nuzman, and IOC member in Brazil Bernard Rajzman.  The Mayor of Santos and the President of Santos Football Club also joined the celebrations at the Pelé museum in the city.


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