N. Ramachandran Awarded Olympic Order

The International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board has awarded the Olympic Order to Mr Narayanaswamy Ramachandran, the President of the Indian Olympic Association, for his outstanding services to the Olympic Movement.

In a letter to Mr Ramachandran, who is also the President of the World Squash Federation, the IOC President Dr Thomas Bach said, “it is with great pleasure that I inform you that the IOC Executive Board by decision of June 1, 2016 has awarded the Olympic Order to you for your outstanding services to the Olympic Movement. My heartfelt congratulations.”

The Olympic order is the highest award of the Olympic movement. Reacting to the IOC recognition, Mr Ramachandran, speaking from London where he had gone in connection with a WSF meeting, said he was “truly humbled and honoured . My grateful thanks to the IOC President Dr Thomas Bach and the IOC Executive Board for choosing me for this coveted award.”

Mr Ramachandran who has been the President of the IOA since the February of 2014, is the second sports administrator from Tamil Nadu to receive this prestigious award after the late B.S.Adityan, a former IOA President, who was the recipient in 1995. A patron of sports, Ramachandran’s keen interest was seen in several sports. In the nineties he promoted and popularised the gruelling sport of triathlon in his capacity as the President of the Indian Triathlon Federation. A founder-member of the Asian Triathlon Confederation he also served on the executive committee of the International Triathlon Union. His interest in squash is well known. A player himself, his interest in the administration of the sport grew in 1996 when he rose to become the Secretary General of the Squash Rackerts Federation of India. It was his vision that made the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai a reality and what is more made this southern metropolis the squash capital. One of the finest example of structured training in sports, the ISA was instrumental in giving the sport the much needed shot in the arm in the country, triggering several highpoints as a medal-winning sport on the international plane.

Starting as Vice President of the Asian Squash Federation, Mr Ramachandran headed the body for eight years during which time he was able to work for the inclusion of an additional team event for squash in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. In 2008 Mr Ramachandran was elected as President of the WSF (which he continues till date). As the first Indian to be President of a world body for a sport recognised by the IOC,  Mr Ramachandran had worked tirelessly to  further squash’s cause for a place in the Olympics.
Being a member of the Executive Board of the Commonwealth Games in 2008-09, a member of the International Relations Commission of the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and member of the Advisory committee of the Olympic Council of Asia are some of his other recognitions.
Mr Ramachandran also happens to be an active member and senior Vice President of the Tamil Nadu Olympic Association.

About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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