Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, will receive the Olympic Laurel at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on July 23, the International Olympic Committee said on Thursday.
The 81-year-old Yunus is to be the second recipient of the Laurel, a new tradition initiated by the IOC at the 2016 Rio Games when they honoured former Kenyan runner Kip Keino.
The Laurel is to recognise “outstanding individuals for their achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport,’’ said the IOC.
Yunus, a social entrepreneur, banker and economist, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance.
IOC president, Thomas Bach, said Yunus was “a great inspiration for all of us.
“He helps athletes in their post-sport career development to become socially responsible entrepreneurs and shares our vision of how sport can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
“In particular, with Paris 2024, he is helping to build a new model for the Olympic Games with minimum impact for the planet and maximum impact for legacy for the people of the host country.