By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Nobel Peace Laureate and entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Olympic Laurel on Friday during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 in Japan.
It is the highest award presented by the International Olympic Committee and the lone Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate was the second person to be so honored in the history of the Games.
Yunus said the award was “so special” for him. “I am honoured and overwhelmed to receive this Olympic Laurel. And so sad I can’t be there with you,” he said.
Praising the role of IOC to take the social dimension of sports very seriously, he urged athletes across the world to “provide the leadership in transforming this world.”
He drew attention to the athletes for their roles in creating a “world of three zeros” -- zero net carbon emission, zero wealth concentration to end poverty and zero unemployment by unleashing the power of entrepreneurship in everyone.
Yunus wished the IOC well on its mission to help transform the planet into a more peaceful world through sport.
The first-ever Olympic Laurel was awarded to Kenyan Olympian and social changemaker Kip Keino on Aug. 5, 2016.