David Stern will be awarded the Olympic Order award, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) most prestigious award.
Stern has been instrumental in advancing the Olympic game to where it is today — where the United States are burgeoning powerhouses and the previously deficient international teams are suddenly viable contenders. The WNBA hasn’t been a rousing success in the States but the women’s game, as a result, has advanced through his efforts.
Via NBA’s official release:
“Via NBA, official release NBA Commissioner David Stern has been awarded the prestigious Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He was presented the honour during the half-time of Sunday’s men’s Olympic Basketball Final by IOC President Jacques Rogge, who attended the Final in the North Greenwich Arena. Together with the then FIBA Secretary General Borislav Stankovic — who was awarded the Olympic Order in 1985 — Stern was the key figure in working towards the participation of professional basketball players in the Olympics, including those of the NBA.
Among other achievements singled out by Rogge, was his contribution to women’s sport thanks to the setting up of the WNBA, one of the first fully professional sports leagues for women. The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for the recognition of merits in the cause of sport or the Olympic Movement.”
As for Stern’s adamant age proposal? It’s going to be major awkward when the IOC will be faced with an immediate threat to the legitimacy of their tournament by the guy they deemed as a driving force behind basketball’s rapid ascent.