Blake honoured by IOC

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The International Olympic Committee announced yesterday that it is awarding one of its highest honours, the Olympic Order, posthumously to the New Zealand yachtsman Peter Blake.

The IOC executive board decided to give the award to Blake a week after he was killed by pirates on the Amazon in Brazil. Blake twice won the America's Cup, last year leading the first non-American entry to retain the trophy in 149 years.

Ten candidates were nominated for membership of the IOC, including the three-time Olympic rowing gold medalist Matthew Pinsent. The list also includes Sandra Baldwin, president of the US Olympic Committee, the 21-year-old Prince Nawaf Fahd Abdul Aziz from Saudi Arabia; Kikis Lazarides of Cyprus; Yong Sung Park of South Korea; Patrick Chamunda of Zambia; Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of the Emir of Qatar; Kai Holm of Denmark; Francois Narmon of Belgium; and Youssoupha Ndiaye of Senegal.

IOC members will vote on admitting them during their session in Salt Lake City next February, but all are virtually guaranteed of being accepted.