The driving force behind the production of champion shuttlers, Pullela Gopichand has been conferred with an honorable mention at the 2019 International Olympic Committee's Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards for his role in Indian badminton. Considered to be singularly responsible for giving wings to the likes of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, to name a few, Gopichand has been a revolutionary force and the harbinger of change in the world of Indian badminton.
The second person, after Prakash Padukone, to win the All England Open in 2001, Gopichand was acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his dedicated efforts to promote badminton in the country and make it the widely popular sport it is today.
In a statement from the IOC Athletes' and Entourage Commissions, they revealed, "I am pleased to inform you that an Honourable Mention is being awarded to Mr. Pullela Gopichand for the male category of the 2019 IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards," for the 46-year-old Chief National Coach's persistent efforts to lift the status of badminton in the country.
Furthermore, the statement elaborated, "The Panel wish to recognise his efforts in the development of Badminton in India, his efforts in supporting athletes across sports and his contribution to the Olympic Movement."
The award ceremony is held in the honor of coaches who have played a critical part in developing Olympic sports and instill the Olympic spirit in their students, through their work.
An initiative of the IOC Athletes' Entourage Commission, The IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards recognizes the contribution of such coaches. The nominations for the honors can be done by Olympic athletes as well as the IOC Members, IOC Athletes' Entourage Commission members, Summer and Winter International Federations, National Olympic Committees and continental associations in the favor of active or retired coaches of a Summer Olympic or Winter Olympic sport.