NORTHBROOK, Ill, USA, August 7, 2009 - The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE: ALL) announced Kevan Gosper as the recipient of the inaugural Olive Branch Achievement Award, an international-themed award created by the USOC and inspired by Allstate chairman, president and chief executive officer Tom Wilson. The Olive Branch Achievement Award annually honors an individual who best represents the international ideals of the Olympic Movement by working to build a peaceful and better world through sport.
Gosper first stepped onto the Olympic stage in 1956 when he won a silver medal with the Australian team in the 4x400-meter relay at the Melbourne Games. Over the years, he's remained passionate about sport and the Olympic Ideals, serving as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He is one of only six current IOC members who have served for three or more decades.
"The Olympic Games do more than bring great athletes together in competition; they bring all of us together in search for a more unified world," said Wilson. "Kevan Gosper embodies this effort, having inspired generations through his work with the International Olympic Committee empowering the global community. He is a role model and a leader. Allstate is proud to honor him with the inaugural Olive Branch Achievement Award."
In conjunction with his IOC positions, Gosper remained active in the Australian sports landscape through the years, serving as Chairman of the Australian Institute of Sport, President of the Australian Olympic Federation and Vice President of the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, among others. Earlier this year, he stepped down after 20 years as President of the Oceania National Olympic Committees.
"The USOC is excited to present the Olive Branch Achievement Award to a legend who has successfully helped unite all nations through the peace and friendship of the Olympic Movement," said USOC Chairman Larry Probst. "Kevan Gosper is deserving of this honor for the imprint he has left on the Olympic Movement and for his continued service in carrying out the Olympic Ideals throughout the world. We are also pleased to continue to partner with Allstate, a company that shares our commitment to the Olympic spirit."
Gosper will be formally honored for his decades of dedication to the Olympic Movement August 12 at McCormick Place in Chicago during the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony presented by Allstate, a banquet-style event that honors the Class of 2009.
The legendary inductees who will be honored at the ceremony include: Teresa Edwards (basketball), Michael Johnson (athletics), Mary T. Meagher (swimming), Picabo Street (alpine skiing), Willye White (athletics), Sarah Will (Paralympic alpine skiing), the 1992 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Team, skiing veteran Andrea Mead Lawrence, longtime gymnastics coach Abie Grossfeld and special contributor Peter V. Ueberroth.
Special presenters for the evening include: three-time Olympic gold medalist and current University of South Carolina women's head basketball coach Dawn Staley; Olympic hurdles legend and 1985 Hall of Fame inductee Edwin Moses; Mike Plant, Atlanta Braves Executive Vice President, USOC Board member, 1980 speedskating Olympian and husband to Meagher; three-time Olympic skier and Hall of Fame member Phil Mahre; Bob Beamon , who made Olympic history in the long jump and was inducted into the Hall's inaugural class; former U.S. Disabled Alpine Ski Team head coach Kevin Jardine; 2008 Olympic gold medalist and NBA star Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets); five-time Olympic speedskating gold medalist and 2004 inductee Bonnie Blair; Peter Vidmar, member of the gold medal winning 1984 U.S. Men's Olympic Gymnastics Team, Chairman of USA Gymnastics and inductee with the Class of 1991; and Priscilla Florence, former Vice President with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. Actor and Allstate spokesperson Dennis Haysbert will be part of the introduction of Gosper.
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, hosted by NBC Olympics Broadcaster Dan Hicks and Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, will air in a nationally-televised broadcast on NBC on Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. ET.
Tables and tickets for the induction ceremony may be purchased online at support.chicago2016.org/halloffame.
About the 2009 Recipient of the Olive Branch Achievement Award
Following his athletic career Gosper went on to become Chairman and CEO of Shell Oil Australia and later Chief Commissioner of the City of Melbourne. At the same time, Gosper remained passionate about sport and the Olympic Ideals. In 1977, Gosper was elected a member of the International Olympic Committee. He is one of only six current IOC members who have served for three or more decades.
His roles with the IOC have included membership on the Executive Board, Vice President, and Vice Chairman of the Olympic Solidarity Commission, along with several other commissions on ethics, reform and media coordination. Since 1988, he has been part of the IOC Press Commission, working as Chairman since 1989. Last year in Beijing, he made media coverage of the Games a priority, working to ensure proper access and accuracy.