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Populous architect gets Olympic service medal

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Architect Geraint John has become the first Briton to be awarded a medal for outstanding service to the Olympic Movement

Senior adviser at sports architecture specialist Populous since 1996, John worked on designs for three Olympic stadia during his career, including Sydney 2000, London 2012 and the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

John was also chief architect and head of the technical unit for sport at GB Sports Council for 21 years.

The award makes John the first British recipient of this special decoration since the medal was inaugurated in 1997.

The IOC has recognised John for his contribution to the Olympic movement’s promotion of environmental and sustainable sports facilities that deliver lasting Olympic and Paralympic legacies.

John helped produce the IOC’s Sustainable Stadia Guide and advised on the permanent stadia exhibition at the recently renovated Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, the largest archive of Olympic Games memorabilia in the world.

Craig Reedie, vice-president of the IOC, said: ‘The Pierre de Coubertin medal reflects the Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship. John 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 of the Pierre de Coubertin medal is the richly-deserved recognition of a lifetime of service.’

Commenting on the award, John 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.’

He will be awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Medal by the International Olympic Committee today (28 November).

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