Right to Play and the José Carreras International Leukemia Foundation win the St. Moritz Award 2011
St. Moritz, 22. March 2011 – Last weekend, Johann Olav Koss, four time Olympic Champion, and star tenor José Carreras were honoured with the St. Moritz Award 2011 for their continuous efforts with their organisations “Right to Play” and “José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation”. The Award was presented to the winners by the former President of Switzerland, Adolf Ogi. The prestigious award honours international personalities and organisations for using their privileged public status for the good of others. The award recognises significant contributions in the charitable and human rights fields.
Acknowledging the honour conferred by the St. Moritz Award, the gifted tenor José Carreras delighted the audience at the gala evening in Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz, on 19. March 2011, with a selection sung from his repertoire.
The St. Moritz Award 2011 goes to Johann Olav Koss and José Carreras
Johann Olav Koss is one of the winners of the St. Moritz Award 2011. The organisation “Right to Play” was first founded as a Norwegian organisation in 1992, by the organisational committee of the Olympic winter games 1994 in Lillehammer. The speed skater and four time Olympic Champion Johann Olav Koss encouraged other Athletes to donate, and played a deciding role in the internationalisation of the organisation. Since then he has risen to preside the organisation. Right to Play fights for the right of every child to play.
Johann Olav Koss said: “I am very honoured to receive the St. Moritz Award. I would never have dreamt to put my work on the same level with that of great personalities like José Carreras, or last year’s winner Kerry Kennedy. This award motivates us to continue, and enable the children on this world to play and do sports, because when children play, the world wins.”
After successfully defeating leukaemia himself, José Carreras founded the “José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation” in Barcelona. The organisation also has offices in the USA, Germany and Switzerland. José Carreras says he will not rest his efforts against leukaemia until there is an effective therapy against leukaemia for the 300’000 children, adolescents and adults who are afflicted by leukaemia yearly. The José Carreras Foundation supports medical research and sends out the message of solidarity on conscience for the urgency of the fight against leukaemia.
José Carreras said: “The support and care I received during my recovery from the Doctors and the public makes it my duty to give back to medicinal research and the community. I dedicate this St. Moritz Award to all my colleagues who work hard every day for our goal to defeat the sickness leukaemia.”
VIP Ski-Race on Corviglia opens the St. Moritz Award
The St. Moritz Award 2011 was opened with a VIP Ski-Race on Friday, 18. March. Former ski greats took on members of the honor committee, award winners, VIP guests, partners and sponsors of the St. Moritz Award in a friendly ski race on Corviglia. The St. Moritz Award was made a multi-day event, bringing out the spirit of St. Moritz. Besides the former president of Switzerland and president of the St. Moritz Award honor committee Adolf Ogi, former ski greats such as Conradin Cathomen, Ariane Ehrat, Paul Accola and Flurina Bachmann raced for a spot among the top 3. The raced consisted of two runs. Johann Olav Koss, winner of the St. Moritz Award 2011 and founder of Right to Play managed to secure the win, followed by Conradin Cathomen and Adolf Ogi in places two and three. The winner was decided by having the most similar times in both runs. After the race, everyone met at Reto Mathis‘ Restaurant for a picknick on snow, to thoroughly analyze the racing action.
The initiative for the St. Moritz Award came from the two entrepreneurs, Alexandra della Porta Rodiani and Maura Wasescha, who have received support for their cause from the regional tourism organisation Destination Engadin-St. Moritz and the local tourist board Kurverein St. Moritz, as well as important partners with local routes such as the gourmet chef Reto Mathis and Hans Wiedemann, the “Hotelier of the World” and Managing Director of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel.
Former president of Switzerland and president of the St. Moritz Award honor committee Adolf Ogi said: “I am excited by the idea to stand for an increased effort in humanitarian aid worldwide, and to generate attention for these matters!”
The St. Moritz Award was sponsored by Audi as main sponsor aswell as many other sponsors and partners such as American Airlines, Swiss Jet, Louis Roederer, Mathis Food Affairs, Valser Mineralquellen, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, and many more.
The members of the Honor Committee of the St. Moritz Award 2011 are:
Adolf Ogi (Former President of Switzerland)
Kerry Kennedy (President, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights)
Adriano Galliani (Vice Executive President and Managing Director of A.C. Milan)
Milva (Singer and Actor)
Ornella Vanoni (Singer and Actor)
Murat Yakin (Footballer)
Carla Fracci (Prima Ballerina)
Arnaldo Pomodoro (Artist)
Siro Barino and Stefan Mathys
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