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January 7, 2011
First five 2010 World Fair Play Awards nominees announced

Italian bobsledder Eugenio Monti was the very first winner of the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy. Monti sacrificed his chances of winning a gold medal at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Games by giving his British opponents a part to fix their broken bobsled. The act of giving a bolt to the opposing team resulted in the British winning the gold medal. Photo/La Gazzetta dello Sport.
by Roslyn Morris, AIPS Secretary General
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LAUSANNE, January 7, 2011 - It is becoming increasingly rare to witness genuine acts of Fair Play in the word of sport, however, on January 27, 2011 at the Beau-Rivage Palace Hotel in the Swiss Olympic city of Lausanne, the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) together with the International Committee for Fair Play (CIFP) will recognise a number of local and international heroes at a gala awards ceremony to be attended by International Olympic Committee President Dr Jacques Rogge.

In Paris on December 5, 1963 representatives of AIPS, UNESCO, the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), and the international Basketball, Football, Rugby and Wrestling federations formed the International Committee for Fair Play. The committee’s prime aim was, (and still is) to support and promote fairness and equal opportunity and to formally pay tribute to those men and women, children and adolescents and sports-related organisations throughout the world who have exhibited Fair Play on the sporting field or throughout their careers, or who have conducted an activity promoting Fair Play.

AIPS as a founding CIFP member will organise the 2010 World Fair Play Awards with the support of the World Lottery Association and European Lottery Sport as major partners. The City of Lausanne and Canton de Vaud are also supporting the event.

The three categories to be awarded include:

Pierre de Coubertin World Trophy - for an athlete or team for an act of fair play

Jean Borotra World Trophy – for an individual for his or her career and life in the spirit of fair play

Willi Daume World Trophy – for an individual or organisation for the promotion of fair play

Today we feature the first five Act of Fair Play candidates (in alphabetical order). Nominations were received from AIPS members, CIFP members, and representatives from international and national sporting federations.

Hamit ALTINTOP – Football, Turkey

German-born Turkish football player Hamit Altintop, a member of the Turkish national team who plays midfield for Bayern München has a soft side. On September 3, 2010 during the ceremony before the international match Kazakhstan- Turkey (Euro 2012 - Astana, Kazakhstan) Altintop gave his sweatshirt to a little Kazakh boy who was participating at the ceremony and was suffering from the extremely cold weather. Altintop’s teammates followed his example and in this way the Kazakh children joined the ceremony wearing the sweatshirts of the Turkish players.

Above: Hamit Altintop pictured before before the EURO 2012 group A qualifier match between Germany and Turkey at the Olympic Stadium on October 8, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Photo/Getty Images

Yoana DAMYANOVA – Judo, Bulgaria

During the Singapore Youth Olympic Games, on August 21, 2010 Bulgarian judoka Yoana Damyanova agreed to wait for her opponent the young Haitian Dieulourdes JOSEPH who was delayed on the way to the venue. The International Judo Federation and the SYOG organiser decided to postponed the contest in order for the young Haitian to compete. In true fair play spirit Damyanova waited for her opponent to show up and eventually won against her in the Girls’ Under 44 kg category, Round 1.

Above: Yoana Damyanova of Bulgaria (in white) holds her opponent Joseph Dieulourdes of Haiti down in the girls' under 44kg round 1 judo match of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG), held at the Suntec City International Convention Centre, 21 Aug, 2010. Damyanova won the match. Photo: SPH-SYOGOC/Caroline Chia

Darius DRAUDVILA – Decathlon athlete, Lithuania

Belarusian decathlete Andrei Krauchanka would not have been able to win the Bronze Medal at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona had it not been for an act of Fair Play by opponent Darius Draudvila.

After seven events the Lithuanian athlete Draudvila was first in total rank. In the eighth event (pole vault) Lithuanian athlete Darius Draudvila demonstrated the principles of Fair Play. Bronze medalist of the European Championship in Athletics in Barcelona Andrei Krauchanka tells this story: “During the Championships I was put in the weakest group in pole vault I don’t know why as I had my personal best 5m 20cm which is a very strong result. And I waited an hour and a half for my first attempt. And in the first attempt my pole broke. I think it happened because a piece of the pole sticking out of the box could have warmed up in the sun and broken as a result. I ran and asked everyone who had such a pole, and not one of athletes gave it to me. And then my coach and I made a decision that I needed to finish the tournament. For me it meant no chances for medals. But Lithuanian athlete Darius Draudvila, who ranked first, helped me - he came over and said: "Take my pole." I askd: "How will you be jumping?" and he told me: "I'll jump on the other pole." He saved me and my chances for a medal. I had the second result in pole vault. After ten events of the decathlon I was 3rd and took bronze medal. The Lithuanian athlete Darius Draudvila finished on 6th place.”

Above: Darius Draudvila competes in the Mens Decathlon Javelin during day three of the 20th European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on July 29, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo/Getty Images.

GAO Feng – Wrestling, China

Chinese wrestler Gao Feng carried his injured Iranian opponent Ahmadi Zarinkolaei Saeid from the arena in his arms after their men's freestyle 60-kilogram match at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. This act of Fair Play and sportsmanship came despite Ahmadi being sanctioned for biting his opponent in the bronze medal match, which was won by Gao. "Despite the fact that he lost, I gave him the respect he deserved. He did not give up the competition and this is our wrestling people's moral character," said Gao of his opponent who injured his knee in the last moments of the bout. The images of Gao carrying his opponent from the wrestling arena speak a thousand words.

Above: Gao Feng carries Iran's injured wrestler S. Ahmadi as they leave the court after their bronze medal match in the men's 60kg freestyle wrestling at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, Nov 23, 2010. Photo/Xinhua

Denis ISTOMIN – Tennis, Uzbekistan

Denis Istomin is an Uzbek tennis player of Russian origin. At the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November Istomin was playing in the quarterfinals of the Men's Singles against Karan Rastogi of India. The Uzbek player corrected the chair umpire when he led 5:3 in the third set - his own match point - calling good a forehand from opponent Rastogi. Istomin went on to win the match 2:1. It was a real act of Fair Play and an honourable gesture of Fair Play. It's not a common thing among tennis players who are used to playing and to competing for money.

Above: Denis Istomin returns a backhand against Karan Rastogi of India during the men's singles quarter-final tennis match at the Aoti Tennis Centre during the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou on November 21, 2010. Istomin won 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 over Rastogi. Photo/Getty Images

The next five nominees and their profiles will appear on tomorrow.

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