Pierre De Coubertin Medal: Facts About Rarest Olympic Medal Usain Bolt Didn’t Receive

Pierre De Coubertin Medal: Facts About Rarest Olympic Medal Usain Bolt Didn’t Receive
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While most teams competing in the Olympics are focused on their gold medal count, less known to many is that there’s a fourth gold—the Pierre de Coubertin Medal—only a select few have gotten in the game’s history.


Since the inception of the modern Olympic games in 1896, only 17 Olympians have so far gotten the rare medal. Unlike the traditional gold, silver and bronze medals, given to athletes based on their performance in their respective events, the Pierre de Coubertin Medal is given to Olympians who meet a certain criteria.

Origin of the Pierre de Coubertin Medal

The rare Olympics medal was given in honor of Pierre de Coubertin, considered by many as the father of the Olympic Games. He also founded the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and was credited for making the Olympics the most prestigious sporting event in the world, Bustle reported.

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De Coubertin’s vision of the Olympic Games was to bring together nations through sports. Thus, the IOC awards the rare medal to Olympians who value sportsmanship over athleticism.

Pierre de Coubertin Medal Recipients

Only 17 Olympians have so far received such medal from IOC since its foundation. Some of the notable recipients of the medal include the Brazilian runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima in 2004. De Lima was leading the race when a priest jumped in the racetrack and stopped him for a good seven seconds. He finished the race with bronze, but the IOC decided to award the rare medal instead of the gold, which he could have potentially won, Mental Floss reported.

In this year’s Rio Olympics, runners Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand and Abbey D’Agostino of the United States have been awarded the rare medal for showing sportsmanship in their sports.


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