Global legends of the last 100 years

Global legends of the last 100 years

Monaco – Oct 02, 2012: Legends, The IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain from 13 October to 25 November, one of the major events in 2012 celebrating 100 years of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), highlights many of the legends of Athletics who globally have graced tracks, infields, roads and cross country during the last 100 years.

The six continental Areas are well represented across the exhibition. The achievements of a modern African distance running great such as Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot, is highlighted by the loan of her competition singlet and two gold medals from Daegu 2011, while the achievements of South America’s two-time Olympic Triple Jump champion of the 1950’s Adhemar Ferreira Da Silva, are heralded by the display of his competition vests and gold medals from Helsinki 52 and Melbourne 56. Oceania is in the spotlight with the presence of the 2008 Olympic bodysuit of Australia’s World and Olympic Pole Vault champion Steve Hooker, while competition vest and briefs from the 1995 World Championships 400m victory of France’s Marie-José-Pérec is one of Europe’s headline displays. Asia is well represented too by Koji Murofushi’s loan of his winning kit from his 2004 Olympic and 2011 IAAF World Championship Hammer Throw victories, and the sprint and Long Jump legend of North America’s Carl Lewis is flagged-up by the competition vest in which he won the 1986 Goodwill Games.

Legends are very much central to the collection. A generous loan from Matti Nurmi, the son of nine-times Olympic champion Paavo Nurmi, affords our display a spectacular Bronze presented to his father to commemorate his legendary tour of the USA in the winter and spring of 1925 in which he won 51 of his 55 races (45 indoors, 10 outdoors), abandoned one race and lost only three, and set 12 indoor World bests at regular distances.

Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj, the only man to have matched Nurmi’s feat of an Olympic 1500m and 5000m double, is saluted thanks to the vest and shorts in which he ran to victory at the 1995 World Indoor Championships.

The National Olympic Committee of The Netherlands in association with the Olympic Experience at Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, have very kindly provided a pair of spikes from the career of Fanny Blankers-Koen who won four golds at the 1948 Olympic Games.

While amongst the loans – sponsored by ‘Centro Checo Madrid’ – which have been made by the Prague National Museum, a pair of spikes and the 1954 European 10,000m gold medal of Czech legend Emil Zatopek allows the IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition to honour another great.

The competition vest worn by Finn Lasse Viren in his national record run in Oslo just prior to his first Olympic 5000m and 10,000m double in 1972, and a bronze statue commemorating his career will be on show. Another long distance running attraction is Haile Gebrselassie’s competition vest worn in Seville 1999 when winning the last of his four IAAF World Championships 10,000m titles, and there is also one of his competition numbers from his remarkable 1500m/3000m World Indoor double from Maebashi 1999. Not to be outdone World and Olympic great on track and cross country Kenenisa Bekele has lent his support in the guise of his London 2012 Olympic 10,000m spikes.

With the assistance of IAAF Centenary Supporting Partner adidas’ historic collection of shoes the careers of other all-time greats such as USA’s Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Al Oerter, Bob Beamon are also celebrated.

And having already mentioned the sprint icons of Lewis and Owens, it needs to be mentioned that, with the grateful assistance of his management team, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is well represented by a vest and competition number from Daegu 2011.

The 1998 World Cross Country double of Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan is celebrated by the spikes she wore on that occasion in Marrakech, while from the 2003 IAAF World Championships in Paris, multiple World and Olympic champions Poland’s Robert Korzeniowski and Czech Roman Sebrle are marked out respectively by their race walking road shoes and Decathlon spikes.

Back on the track, the 2001 World 1500m gold medal competition vest of Romania’s Gabriela Szabo, and the spikes worn by USA’s Allyson Felix when winning the 2005 IAAF World championships 200m, are yet two more highlight exhibits.

The IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition takes place in the ‘Museu Olímpic iI de l’Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch’, Barcelona, Spain from Saturday 13 October to Sunday 25 November 2012.

In our next release, as we build ever closer to the exhibition’s opening on Saturday 13 October, we will focus of the exhibition’s artefacts associated with ‘World records and great head to heads’. —- IAAF

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