The Olympic Order, established in 1975, is the highest award of the Olympic Movement. It is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, i.e. recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. Traditionally, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) bestows the Olympic Order upon the chief national organiser(s) at the closing ceremony of each respective Olympic Games.

The Olympic Order was established in May 1975 by the International Olympic Committee as a successor to the Olympic Diploma of Merit. The Olympic Order originally had three grades (gold, silver and bronze).

In 1984, at the 87th IOC Session in Sarajevo (Yugoslavia), it was decided that in future there would be no distinction between the silver and bronze order. The gold order would continue to be awarded to heads of state and for exceptional circumstances.

Nadia Comăneci (Romanian retired gymnast and a five-time Olympic gold medalist) became one of the youngest recipients of the Olympic Order in 1984 when she was only 23 years old at the time of her award. She is also one of the two only athletes to be awarded the Olympic Order twice (1984, 2004), the other one being the Brazilian Carlos Arthur Nuzman (Brazilian lawyer and former volleyball player).

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