Unsung heroes awarded Order of Merit

3 May 2013

AOC: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has awarded six men the Order of Merit for their remarkable contributions to the Olympic Movement in Australia.

John Calvert-Jones AM, Gary Fenton, Peter Fox AM, Alan Grover, David Prince OAM and Gerry Ryan OAM have, in the opinion of the AOC Executive, achieved remarkable merit in the sporting world through their outstanding contribution to Australia’s Olympic Teams and the Olympic Movement in Australia.

The six men have filled various behind the scenes roles in their commitment to the five rings.

Calvert-Jones and Ryan have shown unparalleled dedication to their respective sports of sailing and cycling; Fox and Prince have been pivotal in fundraising for the Australian Olympic Team; Fenton has been an enigmatic leader in Olympic television broadcasting; and the AOC’s own Grover broke ground in Olympic marketing for over 25 years.

They will be formally recognised for their achievements at the 2013 AOC Annual General Meeting in Sydney on Saturday - a day of reflection on Australia’s London 2012 campaign, in which all six men played influential roles.

John Calvert-Jones AM has been Chairman of the Australian Sailing Team’s Patrons Program since 2009. The Patrons Program raised over $1 million for Australia’s unstoppable London 2012 sailing campaign. The Team returned with three gold medals and one silver medal and Calvert-Jones will continue in his role as Chairman of the Patrons Program during the lead up to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Jayco Corporation owner Gerry Ryan OAM has supported Australian cycling for over two decades. He personally sponsored Kathy Watt on her road to gold at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and now sponsors some of Australia’s premier road cycling tours, cycling programs, and was the driving force behind the formation of the GreenEdge Cycling Team – the first world pro tour cycling team to be established out of Australia. Ryan has also been supporting the WNBL’s Dandenong Rangers and got behind the Australian Women’s Basketball Team in their preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

A generous and passionate supporter of the Olympic Movement, Peter Fox AM was Chairman of the eighth Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinner (2012) Executive Committee. The Victorian Olympic Council’s official dinner raised a record $2.2 million for the 2012 Australian Olympic Team.

Former AOC Executive member (1989-1997), South Australian Olympic Council President (1989-2013) and 1962 Commonwealth Games silver medallist David Prince OAM turned his passion for athletics into a commitment to sports administration. As Deputy Chair of the South Australian Games Appeal Committee, in excess of $3.1 million was raised for Australian Olympic Teams.

Television executive Gary Fenton has covered 11 Olympic Games. In 2000 he was Chief Operating Officer for the Sydney Olympic Broadcasting Organisation (SOBO) and Executive Producer of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games world telecast. Fenton has already been awarded the IOC’s Golden Olympic Rings and the prestigious Podium d’Or Georges Bertellotti for the Sydney 2000 coverage. As Team Leader for the Nine Network’s Olympic Unit since October 2007 and a member of the IOC Radio & Television Commission since 2008, it is timely Fenton has now also been awarded an Order of Merit.

Alan Grover, a three-time Olympic rower (Tokyo 1964, Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972) and silver medallist (1968), retired from the AOC in October 2012 following 25 years of exemplary service. Grover restructured the Australian Olympic Team marketing program to create what is widely recognised as one of the best Olympic marketing programs in the world. Grover was also involved in the marketing activities of the Melbourne and Sydney Olympic Games bids.

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