Jean Todt, one of the most famous faces in motor sports, was in Lausanne, Switzerland was presented with the Olympic Order by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
The Olympic Order is the IOC’s highest honor for individuals, and is awarded to those individuals who have upheld the Olympic values by rendering outstanding services to the development of sport or the Olympic Movement.
Todt, 77, is the former team principal of Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team and served as president of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) from 2009-2021.
Although motor sports have never been a part of the Olympic program, Todt said in his acceptance speech he has always had a keen awareness of the IOC.
“I must confess that in my different achievements over the years, I have enjoyed observing and being inspired by what the IOC is doing,” he said.
“I have always had great respect for the Olympic Movement and we clearly share a lot of values – integrity, humility and the desire to take action without boasting about it.”
The Frenchman has been a member of the IOC’s Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport for the past six years. Bach, speaking at the Olympic House, was thrilled to present him with the honor.
“During your presidency, you took the FIA to new heights as the definition of success,” Bach said. “At the FIA you focused on strengthening the sustainability of motor sport; on promoting diversity and inclusion; and on making roads safe for everyone. Making the world a better and safer place for all, this shared mission is at the heart of the cooperation between the IOC and FIA.”
Before Todt became involved in Formula 1 racing and the FIA, he was a former World Rally driver and won four World Rally Championship (WRC) competitions as a co-driver. Under his leadership Peugeot won four WRC titles, the Paris-Dakar Rally four times and the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice.
His focus now is the #3500Lives road safety campaign, which he founded, and was featured at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The campaign has been rolled out in more than 80 countries with the aim of educating people to address road safety. Over a million people die every year on the roads, with another 30 to 50 million people disabled due to accidents.