Sports

Did you Know There's a Fourth Olympic Medal?

Trivia question: how many Olympic medals are there?

If you answered three, you would be wrong.

Apparently there's a fourth Olympic medal, named the Pierre de Coubertin medal. Pierre de Coubertin is the man who founded the modern Olympics. The medal is awarded to athletes (and people within the sporting industry) who really display what it means to be a good sport, or to people who contribute in big ways to the games. It's not awarded every time the games happen, because it doesn't have to go to someone. The IOC decides who has truly earned the medal and will award it when they feel it's appropriate.

Brazilian runner,  Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, won the Coubertin in 2004, after being attacked by a man dressed as an Irish Priest during a race with just four miles to go.

de Lima was leading the men's marathon but the distraction ultimately cost him over a minute from reaching gold. He ended up with the bronze medal. People were outraged, saying the results of the race should have been changed, but the IOC held firm. They awarded de Lima with the Coubertin in addition to his bronze medal.

There have been a few suggestions as to who deserves the Coubertin at the 2016 Olympics. Some people are suggesting the Dutch Olympian who pulled out of the race to protect her horse, the women's runners who collided and then finished the race together, or the Syrain refugee swimmer who saved the lives of 20 people. All great options.

Who do you think is worthy of this high honor?

Related Articles