Tuesday evening, at the Pontaise Olympic Stadium, the unmissable Athletissima athletics meeting kicks off in Lausanne. The planet’s best athletes will compete on a Tartan track said to be very fast and on which many records have been broken. Among the athletes present at this 34th edition will be Usain Bolt, Dayron Robles, Steve Hooker, Asafa Powell, Barbora Spotakova, Shelly-Ann Frazer, Dawn Harper, Melaine Walker, Allyson Felix and Maryam Jamal, to name just a few.
Future champions neck and neck…
At The Olympic Museum on Saturday 4 July, during the Mini Stars Relay organised by Athletissima and The Museum, future champions competed in a race along the path from the quayside at Ouchy to The Museum’s entrance. There was the two-man race: one boy and one girl; family: one child and one parent; and open category: two children under 15. A record number of over 70 teams were at the start line.
… and autograph sessions
The cherry on the cake was the traditional autograph session, in which took part, with grace and good humour, a string of prestigious runners like Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, Olympic 4x100m relay champion last year in Beijing, and the USA’s Kerron Clement and Jamaica’s Sheerick Williams, the two silver medallists in the 400m hurdles in Beijing.
A short background
On 8 July 1977, as part of the inauguration of the new track at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in Lausanne, an international athletics meeting was organised. It took place in the pouring rain. Won over by the passion of the crowd who, despite the disastrous weather conditions, cheered them on all evening long, the athletes promised to return to Lausanne before the end of the summer to participate in a second meeting. This was held in August in front of 10,000 enthusiastic spectators! And thus began the Lausanne athletics meeting which took on the name Athletissima in 1977. Thank you rain!