Over 100 guests gather for celebration of AIPS Winter Olympics Journalists on the Podium

  • February 19, 2018

by Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam, AIPS Young Reporter, Nigeria

PYEONGCHANG, February 19, 2018 - The International Sports Press Association (AIPS) on Monday continued its unique tradition of celebrating longevity in Olympic journalism - an initiative that has blossomed since the London 2012 Summer Games - as journalists, who have covered six or more Winter Olympic Games, were honoured at a special ceremony at Casa Italia at PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

More than 100 guests, including the over 70 awardees, were present at the event tagged "Journalists on the Podium". An event which also saw the launch of the maiden edition of the AIPS Sport Media Awards.

There were International Olympic Committee (IOC) members who did the honours of handing out pens in the shape of the PyeongChang 2018 torch to the veteran journalists who have dedicated two or more decades of their careers to the coverage of the Winter Games.

The IOC line-up included; Ivo Ferriani (Italy), Princess Nora (Liechtenstein), Marisol Casado (Spain), Sergey Bubka (Ukraine) and Austin Sealy (Barbados).

Ferriani, who is also the President of the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, welcomed everyone to Casa Italia (Italy House) describing it as "a taste of Italy not just in the food but also in the image."

Speaking specifically to journalists, he added: "For us, your work is necessary to promote what we do. We produce emotions and you are able to send those emotions all over the world.

"Without you our work will not exist, because you are important to us, absolutely important and your success is our success.

"The veterans here are for us a core group of people who have all the answers because having more than six Winter Games means you know exactly what, and you can also make our work much better. We want to be promoted by you and also sometimes criticized by you."

The Chairman of PyeongChang 2018 Lee Hee-beom and the President of Korean Sports Press Union Hee Don Jung also gave speeches at the event.

Only yesterday news emerged of a Russian Curler being suspected for doping at PyeongChang 2018. Today, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed that bronze medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky has been charged.

The court said that it has “initiated a procedure” involving Krushelnitsky, who along with his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova finished third in the mixed doubles event of curling.

This is a situation AIPS President Gianni Merlo described as unfortunate considering the efforts of journalists in the fight against the ills in sports.

He however emphasized on the need to "invest in culture" as he unveiled the latest initiative of AIPS.

"In a bid to do that (invest in culture) we have launched this new AIPS Sport Media Awards – a celebration that is very important because we have to recognize what we are able to do. We have to recognize our work. We have to give importance to our work in this moment which is difficult for the newspaper, television, for everybody," Merlo stated.

"So it's important that we believe in what we do and through the international awards it means that we will announce our possibilities for the future and for the generation of the future," he concluded.


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