To say that Steve Stoute and Michael Fennell have dedicated their lives to sport would be a vast understatement. The two sportsmen from the Caribbean have each presided over their respective National Olympic Committees for more than 20 years, bringing the athletes of Barbados and Jamaica to new heights.
Both Steve Stoute and Michael Fennell have dedicated more than 40 years to developing sport in their nations and throughout the Americas, earning worldwide recognition and numerous awards along the way.
Now, Panam Sports adds to the long-list of accolades for these respected and renowned Olympic leaders in the Americas.
President of Panam Sports, Neven Ilic, along with the Panam Sports Executive Board, recognizes Steve Stoute and Michael Fennell with the Panam Sports Award, in honor of their inspiring dedication and commitment to the Olympic Movement of the Americas.
“We would like to award these two colleagues. We would like to thank you, thank you for all of this time you have dedicated to sport. You are great leaders for us. In the name of sport here, we just want to say we admire all you have done for sport and we would like to say thank you very much,” said Panam Sports President, Neven Ilic.
STEVE STOUTE, FORMER PRESIDENT (1996-2017), BARBADOS OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION
Since his first post as Secretary General of the Barbados Olympic Association in 1968, Steve has exemplified his deep commitment to the development of sport not only in Barbados, but throughout the Americas.
Early in his corporate career, Mr. Stoute felt a calling to the world of sport, joining the Barbados Cycling Federation in 1964. From these humble beginnings, Steve would go on to become one of the most influential Olympic leaders in the history of the Caribbean.
Since his election as Secretary General of the BOA in 1968, Barbados has competed at all but one of the Summer Olympic Games.
In 1996, Steve was elected President of the Barbados Olympic Association and has since helped more than 60 athletes achieve their Olympic dreams. Just four years after becoming President, Barbados won its historic first Olympic medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Nearly 20 years later, Steve continues to demonstrate the true values of Olympism in every position he serves. He founded the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees and is now the President of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization, recently overseeing the successful Barranquilla 2018 Games in Colombia.
Steve’s service to sport has been recognized across the globe, earning the Silver Crown of Merit from his beloved Barbados, as well as the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Order of Merit on top of numerous other awards. He now adds the Panam Sports Award to his long list of honors.
“For me this is totally unexpected and deeply appreciated. We have dedicated our life to the youth of the region, to sport and the development of sport. Again, this is a tremendous honor and I would like to thank my colleagues in Barbados who supported me over the years and mostly my Caribbean colleagues. I thank each and every one of you,” said CACSO President, Steve Stoute.
MICHAEL FENNELL, FORMER PRESIDENT (1977-2017), JAMAICA OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION
A man who has seen it all and done it all in the Olympic Movement, Michael Fennell of Jamaica is one of the most recognized and accomplished Olympic leaders in the world. But before he ever led an organization dedicated to athletes, Michael was an athlete himself.
Michael led his water polo team to two silver medals at the Central American and Caribbean Games of 1958 and 1962. He also competed at the third edition of the Pan American Games in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 1959.
Before beginning his career as a sports administrator, Michael also helped Jamaica’s athletes at both the Mexico 1975 Pan American Games and Montreal 1976 Olympic Games as the team’s Chef de Mission.
Michael Fennell was then elected President of the Jamaican Olympic Association in 1977, a position he would hold for an outstanding 40 years. Although he held the top position of Jamaican sport, Michael still made time for his athletes, continuing to serve as Chef de Mission at the Pan American Games through Indianapolis 1987 and the Olympic Games through Atlanta 1996.
In 1994, Michael was elected as Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation and would run the organization for 17 years before being named an Honorary Life President.
And of course, some of his greatest accomplishments have come during his time with the Pan American Sports Organization. Mr. Fennell has served as a Vice President of PASO and is a long-standing member of the Executive Committee. He has also chaired the Technical Commission since 2003. His vast knowledge and sage guidance remain core elements of our meetings today, and we are proud to call you one of our own.
“This is something that I want to thank everyone for. I represent Jamaica, I represent sport. We do this for the love of sport and the love of sport in the Americas. I want to thank the many people who have assisted me over the years. I thank you all very much, this is really a wonderful gesture,” said Michael Fennell.
Thank you Mr. Steve Stoute, and thank you Mr. Michael Fennell for dedicating your lives to sport. You have both set the standard for excellence in Olympic leadership and we all hope to follow in your footsteps. Congratulations.
Featured Image: Panam Sports proudly recognizes Steve Stoute and Michael Fennell and presents the two exemplary Olympic leaders with the Panam Sports Award to begin the 56th Panam Sports General Assembly today in Lima, Peru.