Alpine skiing champion Alberto Tomba today received the Olympic Order from the IOC President at an official ceremony held at the Olympic Museum. Various personalities from the IOC and the sports world were present including Jean-Claude Killy, former Olympic champion and IOC member; Gian Franco Kasper, President of the International Ski Federation (FIS); Giovanni Petrucci, President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI); and Valentino Castellani, President of the Turin 2006 Winter Games organizing committee (TOROC).
The IOC President said “the Olympic Movement is proud to award the highest Olympic distinction to Alberto Tomba, a great champion and an extraordinary man who highly contributed to skiing and sport in general thanks to his legendary charisma”
After winning two gold medals in the slalom and giant slalom at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, then becoming world champion in the same events, in 1992 Alberto Tomba, nicknamed “Tomba la bomba”, won gold again in the giant slalom in Albertville, where he also won a silver medal in the slalom. Two years later, he added a further silver medal at the Winter Games in Lillehammer.
Today at the Olympic Museum, Alberto Tomba was happy to sign autographs for members of the public. T-shirts featuring his picture went on sale with all profits, matched franc for franc by the Museum, going to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in accordance with the champion’s wishes.
“I have won a lot of medals in my career but never one like today” declared a very touched Alberto Tomba during the award ceremony.
The Olympic Order is awarded to recognize an individual who has illustrated the Olympic ideal through his/her action, has achieved remarkable merit in the sporting world, or has rendered outstanding services to the Olympic cause, either through his own personal achievement or his contribution to the development of sport. Nominations are proposed by the Olympic Orders Council and decided upon by the Executive Board. Among the personalities that received the Olympic Order are Fanny Blankers-Koen, Jean Borotra, Jean-Claude Killy, Bertrand Piccard, Jesse Owens, Mrs. Indira Gandhi and Mr. Nelson Mandela.