Posted 14. July 2001 by Editor
Medals will be presented in the order of bronze, silver, then gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Breaking with tradition, the IOC Executive Board on Thursday approved Salt Lake Organizing Committee President Mitt Romney's proposal to reverse the presentation order that the International Olympic Committee has used for the past century.
"I'm delighted [because] the impetus came from the athletes," Romney said after the concept won approval from IOC Athletes Commission, then the Executive Board.
He raised the idea in February. It received mixed reviews from the Executive Board, but the IOC leaders put off a decision until the Athletes Commission could have its say. Romney won it over, on a 9-4 vote.
"Obviously, this is a significant change in protocol," Romney said. "The view of the Olympians [on the Athletes Commission], like ourselves, is that the order of bronze, silver then gold fully celebrates the achievements of the bronze and silver medal winners and brings a crescendo to the celebration for the gold medalist."
Romney also felt changing the order brought more unity to the medals ceremony. Immediately after the the winner accepts the medal, the national anthem of that person's country is played.
"It builds momentum and excitement," said Athletes Commission member Johann Olav Koss, an IOC member from Norway.
Added American IOC member and Olympic volleyball player Robert Ctvrtlik: "This order gives a little more attention to the silver and bronze, but at the same time doesn't detract from the gold medalist. There's a buildup to the gold. We're very happy with the result."
IOC Executive Board member Kevan Gosper of Australia did not see any reason to change the existing system, which he believes better focuses attention on the gold medalist. "He should be on the podium by himself," Gosper said.