The IAAF, which was founded in Stockholm, Sweden just two days after the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, will celebrate 100 years of existence on 17 July 2012.
We are pleased now to give specific details of what Athletics’ world governing body plans to do to make sure that this significant anniversary is commemorated in a manner befitting the number 1 Olympic sport.
Planning has been underway at IAAF HQ in Monaco since February 2010 when an IAAF Centenary Working Group was established by President Lamine Diack headed by IAAF Council Member Helmut Digel (GER). Their mission has been to seek out imaginative and creative ways to commemorate 100 years of active life without excessive expenditure.
In summary, the key activities and events are:
- Creation of the IAAF Centenary Logo and “look”
- Promotion at IAAF WAS and Permit competitions, with a launch event at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul (9-11 March 2012)
- IAAF Centenary Book
- IAAF Centenary Exhibition
- IAAF Centenary TV Series
- IAAF World Congress on School and Youth Athletics
- An IAAF PR campaign
- A special IAAF Centenary section of the IAAF website and Facebook site
- IAAF Centenary Gala
- Opening of the IAAF Hall of Fame
The IAAF Centenary date of 17 July 2012, falls just two days after the end of the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain (10-15 July 2012), and to mark the occasion a temporary IAAF Centenary Historic Exhibition composed of audio-visual displays and physical exhibits, will be staged during two periods of 2012 in the ‘Museu Olímpic i de l'Esport Joan Antoni Samaranch’, the city’s Olympic and Sports Museum.
During the weekend of 24-25th November 2012, Barcelona will also host a special edition of the annual International Athletics Foundation Gala, which usually takes place in Monaco. The IAAF Centenary Gala Show and Dinner will be the focus of a weekend of activities in the Catalan capital, following an IAAF Council Meeting, Demonstration athletics events and the presentation of the 2012 Athletes of the Year Awards.
An IAAF Hall of Fame is also being created which will celebrate the legends of our sport, with the first names unveiled during the launch event at the World Indoors in Istanbul.
An IAAF Centenary Book, which is being edited by a team including historian and statisticians like Mel Watman, Roberto Quercetani and Alain Billouin, was commissioned in the autumn of 2010. This publication will chronicle the political and administrative history of the IAAF as well as the themes and highlights of international competition since 1912.
Work is also underway on a series of TV documentaries, highlighting the legendary athletes, key themes and lasting achievements of athletics and the IAAF over the past century.
In addition, throughout the year, the IAAF will use other opportunities to highlight its Centenary, and particularly with regard to the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012, the IAAF Dinner, which traditionally precedes the athletics competition, will have a Centenary theme, and all IAAF spaces in its official hotel and at the stadium in London will be branded accordingly.
The IAAF has also created a special T-shirt for the 2012 edition of the IAAF World Athletics Day, to ensure that this popular promotional event will also boost awareness of our Centenary. A selected WAD champion from each Area will be invited to attend the Gala celebrations in Barcelona.
The IAAF is also creating an IAAF Centenary Commemorative Medal and Diploma, which will be sent to all IAAF Member Federations, allowing them to select and honour worthy recipients who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS