Dr Yunus inscribes Bangladesh’s name in Olympic history by Nava Thakuria

Guwahati: Bangladesh may not win a single medal in the
Olympics till date, but millions of Bangladeshis found a reason this
time to celebrate when Nobel peace laurate Professor Muhammad Yunus
received the Olympic Laurel award at the opening ceremony of 32nd
Games of the Olympiad Tokyo 2020 on Friday evening.
Thus the south Asian nation incorporated its name in the history of
Olympics, which has been organized under the shadow of Covid-19
pandemic with no audience on the ground and Dr Yunus also skipped the
ceremony. The creator of Grameen Bank appeared in the digital screen
with the adorable trophy to become the second awardee after Kenyan
Olympian Kip Keino.
“I am honoured and overwhelmed to receive this Olympic award, which is
so special to me and my country,” said the economist turned
revolutionary banker turned social entrepreneur who mentors Yunus
Centre, a global hub of social business, highlighting its mission to
create sustainable social enterprises not just for profit, but to
solve people’s problems.
Speaking to this writer from Dhaka, Dr Yunus appreciated the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and wished a success to its
mission to transform the world to a peaceful place for the entire
human race through the sports. He reiterated the pledge to create a
world of three zeros comprising nil carbon emission, nil wealth
concentration to end the poverty and once for all, nil unemployment by
unleashing the power of entrepreneurship in everyone.
Bangladesh, a Muslim majority nation of over 170 million population,
has never succeeded in the Olympic battles for medals. The country
used to send their representatives to the summer editions of Olympic
Games mostly with wildcard entries. In Tokyo, six athletes under the
guidance of Bangladesh Olympic Association are participating in
various disciplines.
IOC President Thomas Bach commented that the recipient of numerous
international awards for his ideas and endeavours including Nobel
peace prize in 2006, Dr Yunus remains a great inspiration for all
sharing the vision how sport can contribute to the UN’s sustainable
development goals.
While addressing the inaugural function, the IOC President commented,
“Today is a moment of hope. Yes, it is very different from what all of
us had imagined. But let us cherish this moment.” He also added that
selected athletes from 205 national Olympic committees and IOC refugee
Olympic team arrived in Tokyo spreading the message of solidarity,
peace and resilience.

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