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Over 200 colleagues and guests gather in celebration of Olympic journalism in Rio

by Sonja Nikcevic, AIPS Media

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 8, 2016 - Around 100 members of the media were joined by Olympic Champions, partners and guests on Monday morning as a new chapter in the celebration of Olympic journalism was written at the iconic Tokyo2020 Japan House at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Journalists who have covered 10 or more Olympic Games in careers and an outstanding dedication spanning over three decades, were honoured with limited edition Rio 2016 replica torches provided by AIPS Gold Partners and official Olympic merchandiser Honav.

A LOOK TO TOKYO 2020

Olympic hammer throw champion from Athens 2004 and bronze medalist from London 2012, Japan's Foji Murafushi welcomed journalists to the Tokyo 2020 Japan House, the home of the next Games, and hailed the powerful role of the media within the Olympic movement.

"I am honoured to be here and welcome so many members of the media who are crucial to the very existence of the Olympic Games, whose next home will be Tokyo in four years' time. I look forward to welcoming everyone here to Tokyo, where we will continue the celebration of the Games and its outstanding coverage."

"Tokyo will have five new sports on the program in 2020, which means so many new stories to tell," the 2011 World hammer throw champion said.

AIPS President Gianni Merlo delivered his initial speech by thanking Honav and Tokyo 2020 for their support and by congratulating all the veteran journalists present and underlining: Here in Rio we have faced some serious matters and our hope is that Tokyo2020 will deliver a more journalist-friendly Games. Our important role is not even considered in Agenda2020."

OLYMPIC LEGENDS

Four-time Olympic gold medalist, winner of eight World Championships gold medals, and the holder of both the world and Olympic records in the 400 m, one of the mostly highly regarded Olympians in the world, Laureus Academy member Michael Johnson was just one of the champions that honored veteran journalists at the Tokyo 2020 Japan House, explaining that media was a crucial pillar of the Olympic Games.

"We are here to celebrate journalists for their contribution to the Olympics, and the effort the put in to bringing the Games to the public around the world," the US sprinting legend and Olympian said.

Johnson also explained the crucial role of Laureus in sport, which, in celebrating excellence, harnesses the positive power of sport for good, foremost in tackling society's most pressing challenges around the globe.

MEDIA SUPERHEROES

The first journalist to be called to the stage was Italian veteran sports photographer Giuliano Bevilacqua of The World of Sports Agency who is covering a milestone 25th Olympic Games in Rio (13 Summer and 12 Winter). He was presented with a Rio 2016 replica torch by one of the most highly regarded Olympic veterans - HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who competed in both Summer and Winter Games spanning over decades himself, and who highlighted the dedication and passion of the media.

Bevilacqua explained that the passion for the Games has led to superhuman efforts, especially for photographers.

"Being a photographer at the Olympic Games, finding the right position, the right angle for a shot all while carrying around all of our equipment is one of the most enduring practices there is. We are superheroes of our own. Having covered the Games and done this, for so many years is something to be proud of," Bevilacqua said.

SAPPORO 1972

Germany's Hartmut Scherzer, honored on Monday for having covered 21 Olympic Games, has been working as a freelance sports journalist for over 50 years.

"Being here and being recognized by AIPS for my coverage of the Olympics makes me proud. My first Games, were in 1964, and I hope that God will give me the gratitude to be in Tokyo in 2020. Then the circle of my life in Olympic journalism closes after 52 years."

Scherzer also revealed his most memorable Olympic moment out of the countless he has been a part of.

"I was the one who had to tell Karl Schranz that [IOC president] Avery Brundage had kicked him out of the Olympics in Sapporo in 1972, because he was a professional. In those days the problem was whether you were a professional or an amateur and Brundage hated professionals. I was the one who got the news from my agency - United Press International. When Karl Schranz came down the slope from training, I told him 'Karl you have to go home, no medals'."

These are the stories, and those who tell them, that AIPS, as the International Sports Press Association has committed itself to honouring at every Olympic Games to come.

The list of Journalists who have covered 10 or more Olympic Games:

Giuliano Bevilacqua The World of Sports Agency Italy 25

Peter A. Frei Sportinformation Switzerland 24

David Miller Times, Daily Great Britain 24

Giovanni Merlo La Gazzetta dello Sport Italy 22

Alain Luzenfichter Honorary Member France 21

Harmut Scherzer Freelance Germany 21

John Powers Boston Globe US 20

Neil Wilson Daily Mail Great Britain 20


Donna De Varona IOC USA 19

Robert Maksimov L.Atletika Russia 19

Heinz Prueller Kronen Zeitung Austria 19

Philipe Hersh USA 18

Petz Lahure Tageblatt Luxemburg 18

Volker Kluge Journal of Olympic History Germany 18

Christine Brennan USA Today USA 17

Soenar Chamid Soenar Chamid Sportfotografie 17

Tim Donnelly AP USA 17

Denis Paquin AP USA 17

Koji Aoki Aflo Japan Japan 17

Angela Bern AFP France 16

Astolfo Cagnacci AFP France 16

Brian Cazeneuve USA magazine Sports Illustrated US 16

Cam Cole Vancouver Sun Canada 16

Niklas Henrichson YLE/ Finnish Broadcasting Company Finland 16

Jurgen Magh Sport-Informations-Dienst (SID) Germany 16

E.-Friedbert Raulf freelance Germany 16

Steve Simmons Toronto Sun Canada 16

Wlodzimierz SZARANOWICZ Poland 16

Arthur Thill ATP press & photo agency Germany 16

Michael Berger ORF SPORT-AKTUELL Austria 15

Alexander CHERNYKH Russian Photo News Agency Russia 15

Vladimir Drbohlav Czech Television Czech Republic 15

Sergey Kivrin http://www.golovanov-kivrin.ru/ Russia 15

Lembitu Kuuse ERR Estonia 15

Jim Litke AP USA 15

Lee Martin Getty Images Great Britain 15

Karen Rosen teamusa.org US 15

Andreas Schirmer DPA International Germany 15

Herbert Slavk WWA photo - photo agency Czech Republic 15

Dariusz SZPAKOWSKI Poland 15

Stefano Vegliani Mediaset Italy 15

Mats Wennerholm Aftonbladet Sweden 15

Steve Wilson AP France 15

Hiro Yakushi ATP photo agency/Germany Japan 15

Rivo Saarna Receiving the award for Lembito Kuuse 15

Charles E. Belle National Newspaper Publishers Asscioation USA 14

Raf Casert AP BELGIUM 14

Christopher Clarey The New York Times USA 14

Tim Dahlberg AP USA 14

Paloma del Ro TVE Spain 14

Richard Demak Sport Illustrated USA 14

Rosie DiManno Toronto Star Canada 14

Marek JOZWIK Poland 14

Gary Kemper IOC USA 14

Adrian Warner Reuters, BBC UK 14

Francois Xavier-Marit 14

Vincent Amalvy AFP 13

Luuk Blijboom De Telegraaf The Netherlands 13

Franco Bragagna RAI Italy 13

Clive Brunskill Getty Images Germany 13

Charles Camenzuli Sport Extra Malta 13

Tengiz Gachechiladze Daily Sports Newspaper LELO 13

John Goodbody Sunday Times Great Britain 13

Beth Harris AP USA 13

Ed Hula Around the Rings US 13

Duncan Mackay Inside the Games Great Britain 13

Jugder Otgontsagaan MSPU Mongolia 13

Lev Rossoshik Championat.com Russia 13

Bengt Skott SESR Sweden 13

Jonh Volkers De Volkskrant Netherlands 13

Thorsten vom Wege ARD Germany 13

Jie Zhou XINHUA NEWS AGENCY China 13

Emanuela Audisio La Repubblica Italy 12

John Bagratuni DPA Internationa Germany 12

Georgi Banov 24 Chasa Bulgaria 12

Olaf Brockmann Neue Kronen-Zeitung Austria 12

Nicolae Buceatchi NOC Moldova Press Officer Moldova 12

Camillo Cametti Il Mondo del Nuoto Italy 12

Ian Chadband Olympic News Service UK 12

Per-Kristian Eriksen NTB Norway 12

Andrey Golovanov http://www.golovanov-kivrin.ru/ Russia 12

Nicole Jeffery The Australian Australia 12

Paul Newberry AP USA 12

Maris Rimenis Latvian TV Latvia 12

Henk Stouwdam NRC Handelsblad The Netherlands 12

Ivana Vaccari RAI Italy 12

Wakako Yuki The Yomiuri Shimbun Japan 12

Mattia Chiusano La Repubblica Italy 12


Jakub Bazant Czech Tv Czech Republic 11

Lars Becker freelance Germany 11

Dainis Caune Sporto.lv Latvia 11

Michal Dusik Czech Television Czech Republic 11

Espen Hartvig NTB Norway 11

Jiang Hong XINHUA NEWS AGENCY China 11

Sheila S. Hula Around the Rings USA 11

Warren Levinson AP USA 11

Jacquelin Magnay The Australian Australia 11

Janusz PINDERA Poland 11

Dmitry Tarasov Podmoskovie Russia 11

Esat Yilmaer Turkey 11

Youssef Berjaoui Assafir NP Lebanon 10

Steve Buffery Toronto Sun/Post Media Canada 10

Andrew Cowie Colorsport UK 10

David Finch Getty Images Great Britain 10

David Harrison ONS UK 10

Xu Jiren Xinhua News Agency China 10

Kumi Kinohara freelance Japan 10

Anatolijs Kreipans Latvian TV Latvia 10

Tim Layden Sport Illustrated USA 10

Martin Masafret Swiss Television SRF Switzerland 10

Takamitsu Mifune PHOTO KISHIMOTO CORPORATION Japan 10

Chultem Otgonbaatar MSPU Mongolia 10

Marek Rudzinski Poland 10

Marc Ventouillac L'Equipe France 10

Nicholas Wolaver Olympic Rings And Other Things 10

Igor Zolotarev Fooball-Hockey JU, Sporivnaya Panorama Russia 10

Sergio Dovio Dovio Producciones Argentina 10

Alessandro Trovati Pentaphoto Italy 10

Franco Fava Il Corriere della Sera Italy 10

Alvaro Jos Band Sports Brazil 10

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