The Olympic Diploma of Merit was created at the Brussels Congress in 1905. It was purportedly awarded to an individual who had been active in the service of international sport and contributed substantially to the Olympic Movement. Despite the individual qualification it was twice awarded to organizations. Baron de Coubertin described this award, “It has been for a long time the desire of the International Olympic Committee to institute a diploma the rarity of which would confer on it great value. On the other hand, it is not intended that it should be the reward for such and such a sporting victory, record-breaking or special performance, but it should be awarded to a man for the whole of his athletic qualities and above all for the use he had made of them.”
The Olympic Diploma of Merit was awarded 57 times, with the first award given to US President Teddy Roosevelt, and the second going to Norwegian explorer, Fridtjof Nansen, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, as did Roosevelt. The final three awards were given in 1974 at the 75th IOC Session in Wien (Vienna) to Sir Stanley Rous (GBR), President of the Football Association from 1934-62 and the 6th President of FIFA; Philip Baker of Britain, another Nobel Peace Prize winner; and French tennis legend Jean Borotra, founder of the International Committee for Fair Play. It was discontinued after a decision of the 75th IOC Session in Vienna in 1974.