POSTED: Thursday January 14th 2010


Laureus Academy Member Sergey Bubka also to serve on IOC Commission

‘IOC member Nawal is an Olympic legend who has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of women through sport, I congratulate her and wish her well in this new role’ says Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses
•   ‘I am confident our team will help Rio de Janeiro to deliver a memorable Summer Games’ says Nawal El Moutawakel

LONDON, January 14, 2010 - International Olympic Committee member and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Nawal El Moutawakel has been appointed Chair of the IOC Co-ordination Commission for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.

The announcement which was made by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge also named Nawal’s fellow Laureus Academy Member Sergey Bubka as one of the 17-strong group that will be assisting Rio de Janeiro and monitoring their preparations in the lead up to the Games.

Nawal, 47, was the first Moroccan, African and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal, in the 400 metres hurdles in Los Angeles in 1984. She is a former Vice-Chair of Laureus and Minister of Sport and Youth in Morocco. She has already overseen the Evaluation Commission for the 2016 Olympics, a role she also fulfilled for the 2012 Olympics that were ultimately awarded to London, and this new appointment makes her the first ever woman to lead a Co-ordination Commission.

Her Olympic gold medal proved a major breakthrough for sporting women in Morocco and other Muslim countries and she has made the cause of health and fitness and participation of women in sport the centre piece of her philosophy. As organiser of the Courir pour le Plaisir, an annual 10 km fun run which attracts up to 30,000 women in Casablanca, she has put her beliefs into practice. She has also been instrumental in supporting two Laureus Sport for Good Foundation projects in Morocco aimed at encouraging women - first the Women in Sport project in Aït Iktel, one of the most isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country, and more recently the Courir pour La Vie project near Casablanca.

The announcement of her appointment was warmly welcomed by Edwin Moses, the Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy. He said: “Nawal has been breaking down barriers throughout her career. She has been an agent for change in her own country and has had a dramatic affect on the role of women in Moroccan society. She is one of those rare people who have made a difference in whatever they do. And now she is doing an immensely important and valuable job for the Olympic Movement. I congratulate her and wish her well in this new role.”

Nawal El Moutawakel said: "I am delighted to have been named as Chair of the Commission and am confident our team will help Rio deliver a memorable Summer Games in 2016. Having chaired the Evaluation Committee for the 2016 Games, I have first-hand knowledge of the many strengths that Rio and Brazil have to offer, and together we will strive to showcase that to the world in six years' time."

For more information contact

Mal Thompson
Laureus Global Communications
Tel: +44 20 7514 2863
Fax: +44 (0)20 7514 2837
For photos of Laureus events please visit

NB: Information correct at time of going to press


The Patron of Laureus is Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, President Mandela said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.

Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus World Sports Awards and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and harness the power of sport to promote social change.

The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Severiano Ballesteros, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, David Douillet, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Dan Marino, John McEnroe, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexei Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh and Katarina Witt.

The Laureus Academy members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. The Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception Laureus has raised €20 million for projects which have helped improve the lives of more than one million young people. The Foundation addresses issues in particular involving, but not limited to, young people impacted by social exclusion, gun and gang violence, discrimination, community integration, peace and reconciliation, and education.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 180 countries and territories.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which supports over 70 community sports projects around the world.

Laureus was founded by its Patrons Daimler and Richemont and is supported by its Global Partners Mercedes-Benz, IWC Schaffhausen and Vodafone.

Mercedes-Benz, the world’s oldest automaker, can look back on a unique tradition. It is the most valuable automotive premium brand which stands for quality, safety, comfort, fascinating design and sustainable mobility. Mercedes-Benz enjoys an excellent reputation, particularly in the area of safety technology. Many pioneering technical innovations that are standard automotive features today were first seen in a Mercedes-Benz car. The Mercedes-Benz engineers will in future consistently reinvent the automobile - with the same enthusiasm and innovation like Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz in 1886. Mercedes-Benz is a Global Partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Since the beginning of the Foundations’ operations in 2000, Mercedes-Benz has shared and supported the goals and values of this worldwide charity programme where sports play the core role in the fight against social issues - Laureus has become a vital element of the corporate social responsibility programme of Mercedes-Benz.

IWC Schaffhausen
For more than a century, IWC Schaffhausen has been producing precision products of complex functionality and outstanding user-friendliness for watch connoisseurs who expect more from their watch than just having an accurate timekeeper. Since its foundation in 1868, the International Watch Company has built up a reputation as a long-established Swiss watchmaking firm with a passion for inventions, innovative solutions and technical refinements. Today the brand is more successful than at any time in its history. IWC uses this strength in a programme of corporate social responsibility initiatives at home and abroad. In 2005, IWC entered into a long-term commitment to become a Global Partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Vodafone, the world's leading international mobile communications group, with over 323 million proportionate customers and equity interests in 31 countries across five continents and a further 40 partner networks worldwide, is supporting Laureus as a new Global Partner, with a five year agreement which began in 2008 and concludes in 2012. Vodafone is a long-standing supporter of sport sponsorship and is pleased to be part of an organisation that celebrates sporting excellence both at a grass roots level through the humanitarian work worldwide of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and at elite level through the annual Laureus World Sports Awards, which honours the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen.

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Keywords · Laureus · Nawal El Moutawakel · Sergey Bubka · Rio 2016

Name: Darlene Dwyer
Organization: Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
Phone: 917-853-5412

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