Barcelona – Spain, Oct 16, 2012: In the Museu Olímpic i de l’Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch, Barcelona, on the evening of Monday (15) the Official Opening Ceremony of the IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition took place.
IAAF President Lamine Diack and Deputy Mayor of the City of Barcelona Maite Fandos i Payà officially opened the Exhibition by cutting a special IAAF Centenary start tape. This banner was held across the entrance to the exhibition room by some very notable athletics greats, 1992 Olympic 1500m champion Fermin Cacho, 3-times IAAF World 800m champion (1995, 97, 99) Wilson Kipketer, and 1993 World 20km Race Walk champion Valenti Massana. Unfortunately, another planned guest 1976 and 1977 IAAF World Cross Country champion Carmen Valero had had an accident and broken her leg at the end of the week and so could not attend but was very well represented by her daughter.
It’s taken 15 months to assemble the hundreds of artefacts from around the world which make the IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition the greatest collection of athletics memorabilia ever assembled, and the displays were completed by the loan of six more significant items during the ceremony.
Carmen Valero’s daughter brought with her the competition shirt which her mother, Spain’s Athlete of the 20th Century, had worn when winning the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 1976 and 1977.
Fermin Cacho loaned the competition shoes which he wore when winning the 1500m at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the competition shirt he wore when taking the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Wilson Kipketer loaned the gold medal he won in the current World 800m record time at 1997 Paris IAAF World Indoor Championships, and the competition shirt which he wore when winning the 800m at the 1999 Seville IAAF World Championships.
Valenti Massana, the World 20km Race Walk champion in Stuttgart 1993 and the Olympic bronze medal winner over 50km in Atlanta 1996, loaned his Stuttgart gold medal.
To mark the occasion, all participants also signed the Honoured Guest Book of the IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition, which by the close of the exhibition in six weeks’ time will become a significant item of memorabilia itself once it has been populated with a treasure of famous athletes’ autographs.
A guided tour of the exhibition and a cava and canapés reception followed the Opening Ceremony.
The Official Inventory of the items has now been updated – http://www.iaaf.org/mm/Document/06/77/37/67737_PDF_English.pdf
The IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition, one of the core celebrations of 100 years of Athletics Excellence, puts the IAAF and the sport of Athletics into a historical context, illustrating their remarkable legacy with the greatest ever assembled collection of artefacts from our sport’s history.
We greatly thank our supporters, VTB, the main partner of the IAAF Centenary and supporting partners, adidas and MONDO. Without them this exhibition could not have taken place.
The IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition is open to the public for six weeks Saturday 13 October to Sunday 25 November inclusive. —- IAAF