Olympic Order Awarded to Hockey Celebrities
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (19 February 2002) – The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded today the Olympic Order to four hockey celebrities during an official ceremony held at the Olympic Marketing Club in Salt Lake City. The Olympic Order recipients are: - Mr Wayne Gretzky (CAN): during his 21-year career, Mr Gretzki participated in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, attained 61 NHL records and played in 18 All-Star games, lifted Canada to three Canada Cup titles, taken home a bronze medal at the 1982 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships, and won a silver medal in 1996 at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey. Known as “The Great One”, Mr Gretzky is considered to be the greatest ice hockey player of all time; - Mr Miroslav Subrt (CZE): former President of the Czech Ice Hockey Federation, Mr Subrt has been an active member of various sporting organizations including the Czech Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) where he has been acting as vice-president since 1966; - Mr Walter Bush Jr (USA): member of the IIHF Council since 1986 and Vice-President since 1994, Mr Bush Jr is currently Chairman of the IIHF Women’s Committee, In-Line Hockey Committee and the IIHF Hall Fame Selection Committee. He played amateur ice hockey for 22 years in the USA and was the key negotiator for having Women’s hockey introduced as an Olympic Sport in Nagano. Mr Bush Jr is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fames in 2000; - Mr Shoichi Tomita (JAP): goalkeeper for his national team, Mr Tomita represented Japan at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and many other IIHF World Championships. In 1998, he played a key role in the success of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Mr Tomita is currently vice-president of the Japan Ice Hockey Federation, Chief Executive Director, and Committee member of the Japanese Olympic Committee. He also became member of the International Ice Hockey Federation Council in 1978 and then Vice-President in 1994. The Olympic Order were awarded to these personalities in recognition of their extended services and devotion to the Olympic Movement and sport.