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Pierre de Coubertin Medal awarded to Michael Robert Payne


01 Dec 2022 – Olympic expert Michael Payne was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal at a ceremony that took place during the annual meetings of the IOC commissions in Lausanne.

The medal was presented by IOC Vice-President Ser Miang Ng, in the presence of numerous IOC commission members, in recognition of Mr Payne’s outstanding contribution to Olympism through the publication “Toon In!” – a collection of 1,200 Olympic-themed cartoons in a 500-page book.

At the ceremony, Mr Ng delivered a congratulatory speech on behalf of IOC President Thomas Bach, in which he stated:

“Your volume of cartoons really was an innovative cultural contribution to the understanding of the Olympic Movement and its place in the world.”

In his acceptance speech, Mr Payne paid tribute to the 400 cartoonists from 50 countries whose creations went into his book, and spoke of their power.

“The global perspective of ‘Toon in!’ reminds us that other cultures perceive events and issues differently, often through the prism of their own social, political or religious contexts,” he said. “And in this era of a polarised world and polarised media, I believe that the appreciation of different cultures is critically important for the survival of international organisations like the IOC.”

“Toon In!” won the Sunday Times Illustrated Book of the Year Award in 2022. All profits from sales of the book will be donated to social sport programmes, including those of the Back Up Trust, Cartooning for Peace, Peace and Sport, and the Yunus Sports Hub.

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