From Namik Mehmeti, AIPS member
TIRANA, June 17, 2008 - For the first time ever a sports journalist has been awarded the Olympic Order of the Albanian National Olympic Committee.
Albanian Sports Press Association President Besnik Dizdari was bestowed with the honour at the recent 13th General Assembly of the Albanian National Olympic Committee (ANOC) organized in the Albanian capital Tirana to commemorate the Olympic Year 2008.
ANOC presented the award to Dizdari for “his undisputable contribution in promoting and developing the Olympic Movement and sports in Albania”. Dizdari, a founder and president of the Albanian Sports Press Association (ASPA) is one of the most distinguished journalists in the country, with a long career started as a staff member of the daily Bashkimi of Tirana in the sixties, and later for 17 years the editor-in-chief of the oldest sports paper in Albania Sporti Shqiptar (1935). Today Dizdari publishes the country’s only sports magazine - Futbolli Shqiptar - and he is an editorialist of the daily TemA. Dizdari has published 18 books about Albanian sports and Albanian sports history. He also serves as a board member of the Steering Committee of the Albanian Public Radio-Television elected by the Albanian parliament since 2006.
During the ceremony, Dizdari thanked the ANOC for the award and called it a respectful act towards sports journalism in Albania and the Albanian Sports Press Association itself.
The Albanian president of the Republic, Bamir Topi was also among the recipients for his contribution in promoting and the developing of the Olympic Movement in Albania. Other recipients included prominent icons of Albanian sports such as Arben Jorgoni, Stavri Bello, Polikseni Gorishti, Petrit Qendro and Sokol Morina.