Launch of the Coubertin Olympic Awards at the Résidence de France

Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the French Ambassador in the UK, hosted a party at his residency on the 4th of February to launch the Coubertin Olympic Awards, a new students’ annual competition aiming to promote corporate integrity through the ethical values of the Olympic movement. This new initiative was organised jointly by the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee and the Institute of Business Ethics, under the patronage of HRH the Princess Royal.

The Coubertin Olympic Awards are an annual competition aiming to promote research on how the Olympic ideals of fairness, integrity and openness can help businesses balance commercial success with social responsibilities. The competition, supported by Sebastian Coe and the London Organising Committee, will reward essays written by universities and business schools students every year in the run-up to the London 2012 games, with the winning teams awarded a cash prize of £2,000.

The competition is the brain-child of Antoine de Navacelle, a French banker who has worked in the City for the past thirty years. He is also the great nephew of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee and father of the modern Olympic Games, who famously declared that “The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”.

The awards are sponsored by EDF Energy, whose CEO, Vincent de Rivaz, was present at the launch party, amongst several Olympic champions and prominent members of the French London community who, far from bearing any grudge over the defeat of French capital, are on the contrary delighted to live in the chosen city (sorry fellow Parisians!)

www.coubertin-awards.org.uk

From left to right: French Ambassador Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Frédérique Andréani, Centaurus Capital CEO Bernard Oppetit, International SOS CEO Arnaud Vaissié; Pierre de Coubertin's memoirs; EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz; the Awards website ( (Photos: Hélène Schneider)

From left to right: French Ambassador Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Frédérique Andréani, Centaurus Capital CEO Bernard Oppetit, International SOS CEO Arnaud Vaissié; Pierre de Coubertin’s memoirs; EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz; the Awards website ( (Photos: Hélène Schneider)