Thirty-five items from the IAAF Heritage Collection are currently on display in the lobby of the Hotel Panamericano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the star attraction being the vest worn by Brazil’s Adhemar Ferreira da Silva when winning the 1952 Olympic triple jump title with a world record.
The 214th IAAF Council Meeting is being held this week (26-27 July) in Buenos Aires and will be followed by the Congress of the area association ConSudAtle, which is celebrating the centenary of its foundation in 2018.
To mark their centennial year, in March at the time of the IAAF World Indoor Championships, ConSudAtle made a generous donation of 100 historic athletics items from their own museum to help establish the IAAF Heritage Collection. That memorabilia covers the period from 5th century BC to the end of the 19th century.
Now, with formal celebrations taking place in Buenos Aires, the IAAF’s area association has doubled that gift, with 100 further artefacts taking their athletics story up to the 1950s.
The symbolic handover of these athletics treasures will take place at a ConSudAtle Centenary dinner which is being organised by IAAF Heritage in the Hotel Panamericano on Friday night (27).
A selection of the donation is being exhibited this week in the hotel reception area. These include a medal from the first ever South American Championships in 1919, a copy of the first ever IAAF Rule Book from 1913, Olympic programmes, photos and magazines.
Topping out that display are autographed items, from two private collections, of three greats of athletics history: Usain Bolt’s vest and number from the 200m at the 2011 World Championships, Haile Gebrselassie’s vest and number from the 10,000m at the 1999 World Championships, and the vest and number of arguably the greatest ever South American athlete, Adhemar Ferreira da Silva, worn in the triple jump at the 1952 Olympic Games.
Da Silva is the only South American track and field athlete in history to have won two Olympic titles. His first victory in Helsinki in 1952 was made with a world record, one of four which he set in his illustrious career.