Nobel laureate Yunus awarded prestigious Olympic Laurel
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus has written Bangladesh's name into Olympic history as he was awarded the Olympic Laurel at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday night.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that Bangladeshi "banker to the poor" Yunus became the second recipient of the laurel, which was introduced in 2016 to honor people who have "made significant achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport."
According to a report by Xinhua, the 81-year-old accepted the award by video link from his home in Dhaka and said it represented a significant moment for Bangladesh's Olympic history.
A banker by trade, Yunus, has dedicated his life to fighting poverty around the world through establishing the Grameen Bank - a community development bank that makes small loans to impoverished people without requiring collateral. His work has therefore earned him the nickname of the "world's banker to the poor."
In addition to his work with the impoverished, Yunus has also collaborated with the IOC on a Young Leaders Programme for athletes.
IOC President Thomas Bach spoke highly of Yunus for his "extensive work" helping athletes "become socially responsible entrepreneurs" and for his work building a new sustainable Olympic model.