2021 - Yunus Olympic Laurel

Emeritus Chancellor receives Olympic Laurel

Mon, 26 Jul 2021 12:16:00 BST

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Emeritus Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Olympic Laurel at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday night.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Professor Yunus is the second recipient of the laurel, which was introduced in 2016 to honour people who have "made significant achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport".

At the ceremony, Professor Yunus, a Nobel Laureate, reiterated the call for ensuring vaccine equality around the world, noting that all the people need to be safe, breaking the wall of profit.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Professor Yunus shares his wealth of knowledge generously with the athletes and the Olympic community. He is 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. We are very thankful for all he is doing for the Olympic community.”

Professor Yunus said: “The Olympic Games and sport have the most convening power in the world. The Olympic Games unite the entire world in peaceful competition, celebrating unity in diversity. North and South Korean athletes marching together in the Parade of Nations at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was a powerful reminder of the immense potential of peace through sport. The Olympic Truce takes forward the vision of building a better world based on fair competition, peace, humanity and reconciliation.

“We can use this power to change the world in the most effective ways. Sport has the power to transform lives by galvanising the world, and social business can be the most efficient tool to unleash this power.

“Sport is natural to all human beings. It brings all human strengths and emotions into play, irrespective of differences. That gives it enormous power. I urge that we channel this power for achieving social goals and peace.”