President Bach in Italy to receive award from Italian Olympic Committee and attend FEI World Championships in Pratoni

18 Sep 2022
IOC News IOC President

President Bach was in Italy this week as he received the Collare D'Oro, the highest award of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

IOC President Thomas Bach in Rome IOC/Greg Martin

The award was presented by CONI President and IOC member Giovanni Malagó; while IOC Executive Board member Ivo Ferriani and IOC honorary members Mario Pescante, Franco Carraro and Manuela Di Centa took to the stage to pay tribute and remember key moments from the IOC President's Olympic career. Italian Olympians past and present were also there, with swimming gold medallist Federica Pellegrini paying tribute.

IOC President Thomas Bach in Rome IOC/Greg Martin

One surprise guest was Carl Montano, one of President Bach's Italian opponents in the final of the men's team foil event at the Olympic Games Montreal 1976. The pair had not seen each other since they stopped competing.

IOC/Greg Martin IOC/Greg Martin

Accepting the award, President Bach said: “This award truly belongs to the entire IOC and the whole of the Olympic Movement. Because, without the support of so many around the globe, our Olympic mission to make the world a better place through sport could never be accomplished.”

Later, the President was also given the Flambeau D'Or award by Panathlon International for his “outstanding contribution to the Olympic Movement and advancing the cultural role of sport”.

IOC President Thomas Bach in Rome IOC/Greg Martin

President Bach later toured the CONI Athlete High Performance Centre and met a number of Ukrainian taekwondo athletes who are training at the facility and being looked after by the Italian NOC. Also present was an athlete from Afghanistan.

The President also met fellow fencer and Olympic Champion from the Olympic Games Tokyo 2022, Ukrainian athlete Olga Kharlan, who is also training in Italy.

IOC President Thomas Bach in Rome IOC/Greg Martin

Leaving Rome, President Bach headed for Pratoni, where the FEI is holding its World Championships. He spent the day with FEI President Ingmar De Vos at the course, which was an equestrian venue for the Olympic Games Rome 1960. During the day, he met many of the competitors in the team and individual eventing – and was able to see the many safety measures that the FEI has introduced to make equestrian sport safer for horses and riders.

In Rome, President Bach also met outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on 15 September. The two leaders discussed the preparations for the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the current geopolitical situation.

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