15 Février 2024

Two long-standing members of the International Canoe Federation Executive Committee and Olympians have been presented with awards from International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. 

ICF Treasurer and Acting Vice President Luciano Buonfiglio (ITA) and ICF Paracanoe Committee Chair John Edwards (CAN) were awarded with the World Olympians Association’s Certificate of Recognition at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Bach presented both Mr Buonfiglio and Mr Edwards with a certificate and an OLY pin at the Olympic House where the ICF had held its Exco meeting in the presence of the IOC President. 

The two ICF Exco members, who both competed in Canoe Sprint at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, also signed the Olympians Wall. 

They have been granted the use of “OLY” after their name to signify their ongoing role in society as an Olympian and efforts to promote Olympic values. 

Mr Buonfiglio has been the Treasurer at the ICF since 2009 and took on the role of Vice President on an interim basis in June 2023. 

As well as his duties at the ICF, Mr Buonfiglio is President of the Italian Canoe Kayak Federation and a member of the Italian National Olympic Committee. 

Luciano Buonfiglio signs Olympians Wall

Mr Buonfiglio said he dedicated the award to his colleagues at the ICF.  

“I really appreciate this award after many years of investing my time, my passion and my competence in the sport,” said Mr Buonfiglio. 

“I live for the sport and today I am someone who has eyes for the future. 

“I consider myself as someone who has enthusiasm and puts in effort for new initiatives. 

“I didn’t realise that I would receive the award directly from Thomas Bach in the presence of my colleagues on the Executive Committee and President Thomas Konietzko. 

“This is my second family so when you receive such an award in front them it is fantastic. 

“It was a real privilege.” 

Mr Edwards, who represented Canada at Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976, has been chair of the ICF Paracanoe Committee since 2008. 

As founding chair of the ICF’s Paracanoe Committee, Mr Edwards has played the key role in propelling Paracanoe to the Paralympic stage and ensuring the discipline retains its place at the Games. 

ICF John Edwards award IOC Thomas Bach

The two-time Olympian was in charge of the ICF’s first-ever Paralympic Games programme at Rio 2016 before leading successful bids for inclusion at Tokyo 2020, Paris 2024 and LA28. 

“I am very grateful to my ICF colleagues for arranging the ceremony and it was really special to receive the award from Thomas Bach,” said Mr Edwards. 

“After all these years, it is fantastic to be recognised in this way. 

“I think this is a very good policy from the IOC to keep the attention on the athletes.  

“There are so many influences pulling in different directions, but this is a very proactive initiative that keeps the alumni at the core of the Olympic Movement. 

“The IOC is recognising the Olympians who continue to be involved in their federations. 

“There are probably thousands of other Olympians, like me, that are involved in their International Federations, National Federations, clubs and communities.  

“We all feel a need to give back to those who helped us in our youth.”

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