Olympic accolade given to St Albans architect

Sir Craig Reedie presenting the medal to Geraint John

Sir Craig Reedie presenting the medal to Geraint John - Credit: Archant

A St Albans architect is the first Brit to be awarded a special medal for his service to the Olympic Movement.

The Pierre de Coubertin medal was presented to Geraint John by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday.

Geraint, who lives in Fishpool Street, is the first British recipient of this special decoration, since the medal was inaugurated in 1997.

Vice-president of the IOC, Sir Craig Reedie, 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 is a richly-deserved recognition of a lifetime of service.”

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Geraint is an architect by profession, who has been recognized for a long and distinguished career in the design and provision of international sports facilities.

A senior advisor, since 1996, to Populous – the development company behind the three Olympic stadia in Sydney, London and Sochi – Geraint was chief architect and head of the technical unit for sport at the GB Sports Council for 21 years.

He is also an honorary life president of the International Union of Architects’ Sports and Leisure Programme Group, of which he has been a member for more than 25 years.

Through these roles, he made a significant contribution to the IOC’s promotion of environmental and sustainable sports facilities, delivering 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 Switzerland - the largest archive of Olympic Games memorabilia in the world.

Geraint 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.”