LAUSANNE • An Ethiopian journalist on Monday became the first man to win an Olympic award aimed at promoting women and sport.
Dagim Zinabu Tekle claimed the honour as founder of a radio programme designed to encourage women and girls to become more involved in sport "and to pursue their goals and dreams".
First awarded in 2000, the Women and Sport trophy was handed over to Tekle by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Tekle's programme has hosted 12,580 guests - sports leaders, coaches, professionals and sportswomen engaged in local and international women's sports activities - since it was first aired five years ago.
"I have a radio show, but also a magazine and an award ceremony for women only," he said after receiving the award.
"This IOC award encourages me to dream bigger. I am thinking about creating the first-ever Ethiopian Women Sport TV show, to raise awareness not only in my country, but also in the neighbouring countries. This award is only the beginning."
The IOC showed its support for Tekle's cause with a statement saying: "This (radio programme) has significantly raised awareness among the public of the achievements and success of these women."
In addition to Tekle's global honour, there were five continental awards handed out in Lausanne - including to Australian former women's international footballer Moya Dodd, for championing women's rights in Oceania.
Other recipients were Rwandan Felicite Rwemarika (Africa), American Carole Oglesby (Americas), the Philippines' Maria Leonor Estampador (Asia) and Denmark's Majken Maria Gilmartin (Europe).
Bach commented: "These Women and Sport Awards are very important because without these personalities whom we are honouring, the athletes could not achieve their goals.
"These personalities have assisted and inspired athletes. They have been fighting for the right of the female athletes, they have encouraged them."