Monaco – July 18, 2012: Perpetuating, A life-size ice sculpture of a runner, a giant birthday cake decked with images of the IAAF Hall of Fame athletes, and the unveiling of a commemorative postage stamp were the centre pieces of a wonderful party hosted in the gardens of the Palace in Monaco last night on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the IAAF.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who is Honorary President of the International Athletic Foundation (IAF) and President of the Fédération Monégasque d’Athlétisme, welcomed the IAAF party which was led by President Lamine Diack and his Vice-Presidents, and included representatives of the 17 founding Member Federations, pole vaulting queen and Monaco resident Yelena Isinbayeva, her coach Evgeniy Trofimov, and the staff of IAAF Headquarters, whose offices have been located in the Principality since October 1993.
In his welcoming speech, His Serene Highness commented on the close and historic connection between his family and the Principality with Athletics:
“Monaco’s ties with athletics go back very far. I would like to recall that our first athletics club, “Herculis,” was founded in 1895. It is perpetuated in the name of our “meeting”, which will bring us together again in three days (Herculis, Samsung Diamond League meeting, 20 July).”
“Most important, these ties have been strengthened in the past thirty years thanks to the creation of a Monegasque Athletics Federation in 1984, and its affiliation with the IAAF, followed by the International Athletic Foundation and finally the IAAF’s establishment in the Principality eighteen years ago.”
“None of these steps could have been accomplished without the unfailing will shared by the late Primo Nebiolo, who supported these developments, with my Father Prince Rainier III.”
“This will was backed by IAAF personalities including yourself, President (Lamine Diack), and my Government…. We will continue striving to perpetuate this close relation between the IAAF and my country.”
Click here to view photographs of the memorable evening of celebrations – http://www.iaaf.org/mini/centenary/Multimedia/Photos/Gallery.aspx
IAAF Centenary celebrations will continue throughout the year. The World Athletics Gala on 24 November will be the centre piece of a weekend of celebrations in Barcelona, Spain which will be attended by dozens of legendary champions from athletics history.
An IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition displaying an unrivalled collection of historic athletics memorabilia will also take place in the Catalan capital. Hosted by the Joan Antoni Samaranch Olympic and Sports Museum, it will be open to the public for six weeks in the autumn (13 October to 25 November).
A Commemorative Book and a TV series are also being produced, and along with celebrations such as at the traditional IAAF Dinner, which takes place on the eve of the athletics competitions at the London Olympic Games, will further commemorate the IAAF’s special anniversary. —– IAAF