CELEBRATING JOURNALISTS WITH 12 WINTER OLYMPICS: (L-R) IOC member Paul Tergat, journalist Herbert Jung of Germany, Austrian Olympic champion Karl Schranz, journalist Peter Frei of Switzerland, Austrian Sports Minister Gerald Klug, Austrian Olympic champion Egon Zimmerman, journalist Michael Kuhn of Austria, photographer Hiro Yakushi of Japan, and AIPS President Gianni Merlo at the AIPS Winter Olympics Journalists on the Podium event at Austria Tirol House. Photo Andrea Giannini/AIPS
SOCHI, February 8, 2014 - 33 journalists were honored today for their Winter Olympic contributions in a ceremony held at Austria Tirol House in the Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster.
They have been following the Winter Games for at least a decade - some, since the 1960s - traveling across continents to bring the world of snow and ice to millions through their words, videos and photographs. They have been witness to - and shared with the world - the power and miracles of sport, as well as the scandal and heartbreak.
To commemorate their dedication and service, these journalists who covered at least six or more Winter Olympic Games were invited to the stage at Austria Tirol House and presented with commemorative Sochi 2014 awards and certificates by five special guests: IOC Vice President Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC member Paul Tergat, Austrian Sports Minister Gerald Klug; and Austrian legends Karl Schranz, giant slalom silver medalist at Innsbruck 1964, and Egon Zimmerman, Olympic downhill champion at the same Games.
Distinguished guests from the IOC and Vasily Shestakov, president of the International Sambo Federation, were also in the audience.
Four of the journalists covered 12 Winter Games, the most of anyone in the room: Peter Frei of Switzerland, Herbert Jung of Germany, Hiro Yakushi of Japan, and Michael Kuhn of Austria, who attended the earliest Games of those present, his first being 1964 in Innsbruck.
Chairman of the IOC Press Commission Kevan Gosper, Austrian NOC president Karl Stoss, Director of Tirolwerbung Josef Magreiter, Sports Minister Klug, Vice President El Moutawakel, and AIPS president Gianni Merlo all gave speeches expressing their appreciation to the journalists for their many years of hard work bringing the Games to the public.
Said El Moutawakel, "Without journalists, one of the pillars of our Olympic family, I don't think we could live fully the stories the athletes lead, the performances, the excellence in the arenas and outside the arenas.
"This is about friendship, solidarity, excellence, and about legacy. That's what we get from our elder journalists: they're the ones who made us dream."