WASHINGTON, 13 OCTOBER 2015 (INSIDE THE GAMES) ---The categories for the 2015 Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards have been announced - with outstanding achievements and performances by athletes during the most recent editions of the five Continental Games set to be recognised.
A best male and best female athlete will be crowned from every Games, with the winners set to be revealed at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on October 29.
ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said: "We are very excited about hosting the ANOC Awards for the second time.
"Last year’s inaugural ANOC Gala Awards Dinner was a great success and gave us an excellent opportunity to recognise and celebrate the work of National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and their athletes at the Olympic Games.
“This year, with the focus on the Continental Games, we wanted to do things slightly differently but still ensure that the concept of the ANOC Awards - to celebrate NOCs and their athletes - remained unchanged."
The latest Asian Games were held in Incheon, South Korea in September and October of 2014, with the inaugural European Games taking place in Azerbaijan's capital Baku in June this year.
In July, the Pacific Games were held in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby and Canadian city Toronto then hosted the Pan American Games in July and August.
The final continental extravaganza this year was the All-Africa Games, held in the Republic of Congo's capital Brazzaville during September.
ANOC asked each Continental Association's Athletes' Commission to draw up a shortlist of the three best male and female athletes from their Games, with consideration given not just to medal hauls but performances which became an "iconic" part of the event's success.
An ANOC jury, made up of representatives from the five Continental Associations, the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations President Francesco Ricci Bitti, ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg, the ANOC Athletes’ Commission chair Barbara Kendall, a media representative and a representative from the ANOC public relations company Jon Tibbs Associates, was then responsible for selecting the winners from the shortlist and these will be revealed in the American capital.
"We wanted the awards to be for the athletes by the athletes and enlisting the help of the Continental Associations’ Athletes’ Commissions was integral in making sure the athletes’ voice was heard," added Sheikh Ahmad.
"The Continental Games are very important to NOCs as they provide vital experience and qualification opportunities for their athletes ahead of an Olympic Games and showcase their talent on the world stage.
"Over the last year we have been fortunate to have witnessed five wonderful Continental Games full of exceptional athlete performances and we look forward to reliving these moments with them during the ANOC Awards 2015.”
The awards ceremony will be part of the ANOC General Assembly, also taking place in Washington and which are due to begin on October 26.....PACNEWS