Architect Becomes First Briton to Receive IOC’s Pierre de Coubertin Medal

November 28, 2014

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal to Geraint John, diagnosis for outstanding service to the Olympic Movement.

The award makes Geraint John the first British recipient of this special decoration since the medal was inaugurated in 1997.

Sir Craig Reedie, Vice-President of the IOC, said: “I am delighted to have presented this prestigious award to mark Geraint’s many years of outstanding service to the Olympic Movement.

“The Pierre de Coubertin medal reflects the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship. Geraint has proved to be a great friend to the Olympic community, both in Britain and around the world, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Olympic design.

“The award of the Pierre de Coubertin medal is the richly-deserved recognition of a lifetime of service.”

An architect by profession, John has been recognised for a long and distinguished career in the design and provision of international sports facilities.

A Senior Adviser to Populous since 1996, the global sports design practice and architects behind three Olympic stadia (Sydney 2000, London 2012 and Sochi 2014), Geraint was Chief Architect and Head of the Technical Unit for Sport at the GB Sports Council for 21 years.

He is also Honorary Life President of the International Union of Architects (UIA) Sports and Leisure Programme Group, of which he has been a member for more than 25 years.

Through these roles, Geraint has a made a significant contribution to the IOC’s promotion of environmental and sustainable sports facilities that deliver lasting Olympic and Paralympic legacies.

He helped produce the IOC’s Sustainable Stadia Guide and advised on the permanent stadia exhibition at the recently renovated Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, the largest archive of Olympic Games memorabilia in the world.

Commenting on the award, Geraint John said: “To be the first British recipient of this award is quite overwhelming. Architecture has and will continue to provide exceptional service to the Olympic Movement and I accept this award on behalf of all the talented people from so many countries that I have been fortunate to work alongside.”

Rod Sheard, Senior Principal at Populous, said: “As a friend and colleague of over 20 years, I am delighted to see Geraint’s hard work recognised. Geraint brings both architectural and international expertise to every project, and his contributions have proved invaluable to the experience and enjoyment of Olympic Games for millions of people around the world.”