Former International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negre, from Spain, has been awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic Movement.
Negre, who was FIH President from 2008 until 2016, was informed of the news in a personal letter from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. It follows a decision made by the IOC Executive Board during their meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland between 6-8 December 2016.
The Olympic Order is awarded to an individual in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the cause of world sport and their faithfulness to the Olympic ideal as illustrated by Pierre de Coubertin, renovator of the Olympic Games.
Speaking about this, Negre said: "Words cannot describe my pride at receiving such a prestigious award. Since a young age hockey has been a passion of mine. I have dedicated much of my life to the development of the sport therefore special awards like this are particularly humbling. Whilst it may have my name on it, I do not see this as a personal award but more so recognition of the tremendous progress hockey has made in recent years. I would like to pay particular thanks to Thomas Bach who has been incredibly supportive of our sport during his time as IOC President and I look forward to watching hockey continue to evolve over the coming years as a key player within the Olympic Movement."
Negre was recently awarded FIH President of Honour at the Hockey Revolution Part 2 Conference and 45th FIH Congress in Dubai. At the same event his second consecutive four year term as President came to an end as he was replaced by India's Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra.
The Spaniard will be remembered for driving forward FIH's 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy which aims to make hockey a global game that inspires the next generation. For more information about this strategy, launched in 2014, click here.