23 June 2022 – Artist Rolf Lukaschewski and Olympic writer George Hirthler received the Pierre de Coubertin Medal during a ceremony on the day of the 2022 Olympics at the Olympic House in Lausanne. The awards were presented by IOC President Thomas Bach, in the presence of IOC Vice Presidents Ser Miang Ng and John Coates, IOC member Richard Pound and other guests and IOC staff.
The artwork by Rolf Lukaschewski is currently on display at the Olympic House and with the artwork of the Portuguese artist Telmo Guerra was the backdrop to the ceremony.
Addressing Lukaschewski, the IOC president said: “Our founder, Pierre de Coubertin, who was also an art lover, once said: ‘Sport must be seen as an art producer and an opportunity for the art. It produces beauty because it gives rise to the athlete, who is a moving sculpture. ‘ The paintings exhibited here, culminating with Coubertin’s portrait of the “Super Star”, perfectly reflect these words and the vision of our beloved founder. They are also a wonderful demonstration of your unique artistic style, which you call positive expressionism ”.
Sport and art inspire the world with the universal Olympic values of excellence, respect, friendship and peace, Bach continued, adding, “That’s why I would like to congratulate you on this inspiring positive expression of channeling Coubertin’s vision through your extraordinary art. “
George Hirthler’s Olympic journey began in 1989 when he worked on the Atlanta Olympic bid, which eventually won the right to host the Games in 1996. During his career, George Hirthler wrote nearly 3,000 pages of bidding books. and campaign materials, countless film scripts and presentations for parties interested in hosting the Olympic Games. “George Hirthler can be considered not only one of the leading intellectuals of the Olympic Movement today, but also one of the leading experts and promoters of the Olympic legacy of our founder, Pierre de Coubertin,” said the IOC president.
He continued: “The most notable illustration of your passion is captured in ‘The Idealist’, the historical novel of which you are the author, which tells the unforgettable story of Pierre de Coubertin, the Olympic dreamer and visionary. Based on the enormous research that led to the writing of “The Idealist”, you also created the “Coubertin Speaks” website, publishing inspirational quotes from Coubertin daily. In this way, you put our founder’s ideas into historical context and make them available to a global audience. I have to admit that I am among those who draw inspiration from this treasure trove of quotes and a good number of them have found their way into my speeches and messages over the years.
The Pierre de Coubertin Medal is an award intended for representatives of the world of culture and education. The Medal, created in 1997, is a tribute to people who, through the teaching, research and writing of academic and artistic works in the spirit of Pierre de Coubertin, help to promote the essence of Olympism.