Sir Craig Reedie, right, receives the European Olympic Laurel Award from EOC President Spyros Capralos, left ©EOC

Honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sir Craig Reedie was among 10 winners of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) Olympic Laurel Award here.

The British official, a former IOC vice-president who served as a member of the EOC Executive Committee from 2001 to 2009, collected the prestigious prize at the EOC Seminar in Ancient Olympia in Greece.

During his long career, Sir Craig has held many leading roles at national and international bodies, including chairman of the British Olympic Association from 1992 until 2005, Executive Board member of the Association of National Olympic Committees for almost a decade and head of the World Anti-Doping Agency from 2014 until 2019.

Sir Craig was IOC vice-president between 2012 and 2016 after joining the Executive Board in 2009 and gained honorary member status in 2021.

Created in 2007, the European Olympic Laurel Award aims to recognise outstanding roles in the promotion and development of sport.

"I think I served on the Executive Committee at the meeting where we decided to create the Laurel Awards so never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would actually receive one," said Sir Craig.

"On behalf of all the other recipients who commit themselves to sport and the Olympic Movement, I cannot think of any better place to receive the Laurel Award than here in Olympia."

Hungarian two-time Olympic fencing gold medallist Pál Schmitt, who is set to become an honorary IOC member next year, was also celebrated for his contribution to sport having held numerous roles including a stint as IOC vice-president from 1995 until 1999, after joining the Executive Board in 1991.

Schmitt was also President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee and head of the World Olympians Association from 1999 until 2007.

Away from sport, Schmitt was President of Hungary from 2010 until 2012.

Niels Nygaard, a former Acting EOC President, was also among the prize winners in Ancient Olympia.

The Danish official became vice-president of the EOC in 2017 and led the organisation in an acting capacity for 12 months following the death of Janez Kocijančič in June 2020.

Capralos congratulates the 10 winners of the European Olympic Laurel Award in Ancient Olympia ©EOC
Capralos congratulates the 10 winners of the European Olympic Laurel Award in Ancient Olympia ©EOC

He was head of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF) for 14 years before stepping down last year.

"It’s been a fantastic journey," said Nygaard.

"During my 14 years as [DIF] President, I have attended more than 30 General Assembly and Seminars, making a lot of good friends and doing a lot of exciting good things in Europe.

"The EOC has so much meaning for National Olympic Committees and can do a lot more in the future to bring Olympic sport to all people in Europe and make sport a central pillar of all activities in our societies."

There was home success at the awards ceremony as Pavlos Kanellakis, former vice-president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, who leads the Hellenic Shooting Federation, received the European Olympic Laurel Award.

Fidel Ylli, who was elected President of the Albanian National Olympic Committee last year and was his country’s Chef de Mission at the Athens 2004 Olympics, was also recognised.

Other winners include Bulgarian Olympic Committee secretary general Belcho Goranov, former Czech Olympic Committee vice-president František Dvořák, Croatian Olympic Committee Board member Zvjezdana Tuma-Pavlov, ex-Ukrainian Olympic Committee Board member Viktor Khrystoiev and Latvian Luge Federation President Atis Strenga.