LAUSANNE, Switzerland, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), on Tuesday issued the "Pierre de Coubertin Medal" to Chinese artist Han Meilin at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne to commend his outstanding contribution to the development of the Olympic movement.
Bach said at the prize presentation ceremony that the Olympic spirit is to blend sports with culture and art, and the award of the Medal to Han Meilin showed the appreciation of IOC for his contribution and achievements in this regard.
A famous Chinese painter, sculptor and designer, Han's most famous creations are the Fuwa ("good-luck doll") mascots, which debuted at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The 82-year-old Chinese artist said after receiving the award that for him, the Olympic spirit not only meant "higher, faster and stronger", but also meant a young vitality for everyone.
"The Olympic Spirit, in my view, endows this world with youth and vigor," he said.
"As I see, youth has nothing to do with age, has nothing to do with race, or gender, or skin color, and has everything to do with love for life, awe for nature and passion for innovation," he explained.
"As I receive this Pierre de Coubertin Award, my greatest wish is that our world is forever young," he added.
During the award ceremony, Han also donated his manuscripts during the creating of the Olympic mascots "Fuwa" to IOC.
The Pierre de Coubertin medal, also known as the De Coubertin medal or the True Spirit of Sportsmanship medal, is a special decoration awarded by the IOC to those athletes, former athletes, sports promoters, sporting officials and others who exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship in Olympic events or through exceptional service to the Olympic movement.