SEOUL – IIHF President René Fasel has been awarded the degree of Honorary Doctorate in Medicine by the Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. The honour is in recognition mainly for his contributions to the development of dental medicine in the Olympic Games.
“This is a huge honour for me,” said IIHF President René Fasel, who also is an IOC Executive Board Member. “I am especially proud of the fact that this is a doctorate in medicine.”
René Fasel became a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1977. In 1997, the IOC commissioned him to conduct a study on dental treatment of Olympic athletes. The report, "Sports Dentistry and the Olympic Games", was published in 2005.
The text on the diploma reads:
To René Fasel (…) who has made contributions to the development of dental medicine through therapeutic dental services performed in the Olympic games and the life-long dedication to improve human life through sports and the spread of Olympic spirit as the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the I.O.C.’s executive board member.
“It was a very nice ceremony,” said René Fasel upon returning home to Zurich. “The hospitality in Korea is always so warm.”
The presentation in Seoul on March 23 was performed by Jae Ok Park, the Dean of Graduate School and by Duck Ho Lim, the President of the University.
René Fasel has been IIHF President since 1994 and was elected to the IOC one year later. In May 2008, Fasel was nominated to replace Ottavio Cinquanta as the winter sports representative on the IOC's executive board.
He was named to the board on 7 August at the 120th IOC Session held before the 2008 Summer Olympics.