European Athletics on the sidelines of the 25th edition of the European Athletics Championships in Munich, has celebrated with AIPS, the "Journalists on the Podium", a unique occasion that recognises the values of our profession, at the Olympiastadion. The event also underlined the great success of the competition.
"IT IS SPECIAL TO BE HERE" The European Athletics President Dobromir Karamarinov specially welcomed all the national delegations and journalists that attended the event: "Thanks to everyone. It is a special occasion to be at the stadium, where the show is happening. I am very happy to see you all in these difficult times. We must keep in mind that we are still facing tough challenges, not only the pandemic. But we are now stronger then before and I am grateful for it. We tried our best also to help Ukraine and its federation in these difficult times: 330.000 euros to help Ukranian athletes. We gave them a chance to better prepare for these championships. I want to thank our federations, committees, and partners. Special thanks, also, to the staff, the job that has been done at these championships has been fantastic."
A CELEBRATION OF JOURNALISM AIPS President Gianni Merlo then took the stage and gave a brief speech, explaining to colleagues the importance of this celebration: "I want to thank the President Karamarinov and European Athletics for this opportunity, an occasion which acknowledges sports journalists. Once again, let us celebrate sports journalism at its best today, and the veterans that make it great. Sports journalists do not usually stay on a podium, so we thought about this recognition to give to media the credit they deserve. 50 years ago, in this stadium, was the first time I covered the Olympic Games, in 1972, it was an unbelievable experience. To remember that special occasion we will deliver special diplomas also to the colleagues that were in Munich 1972."
THE OLYMPIC 1972 VETERANS The colleagues who were present at that Olympics in 1972 remembered the terrorist attack of Black September which ended in a massacre. They are: Peter Frei, Olaf Brockmann and Petz Lahure. With them also Franco Fava and Manfred Steffny, who were there as athletes, after have begun the journalism careers.
Below is the full list of journalists recognised during the "Journalists on the Podium" in Munich, with their number of European Athletics Championships appearances.
16. Peter Frei (Switzerland)
14. Franco Fava (Italy), Milan Urban (Czech Republic)
13. Olaf Brockman (Germany)
12. Giancarlo Colombo (Italy), Vladimir Drbohlav (Czech Republic), Manfred Steffny (Germany)
11. Jose Luis Lopez (Spain), Raulf E.-Friedbert (Germany), Walter Brambilla (Italy), Plamen Petrov Valkov (Bulgary), Mats Wennerholm (Sweden)
10. Georgi Banov (Bulgary), Steve Smythe (UK),Andreas Shirmer (Germany), Ari Pusa (Finland), Michail Dusik (Czech Republic), Joze Zidar (Slovenia).
ABOUT JOURNALISTS ON THE PODIUM The idea of “Journalists on the Podium” was born in August 2012, when Honav’s exact replica of the 2012 London Olympic torch was presented to more than 100 veteran journalists, each of whom had covered 10 Olympic Games or more.
Olympic legend Edwin Moses, during the first edition of the event, stated that “Many times we don’t think enough about how the story and the pictures and the news are passed on. It is great to be here to honour the journalists, many of whom have become friends with the athletes,” underlining the importance of the ceremony.
Over the years, the international Sports Press Association, firmly believing in the significance of the recurrence, has continued the tradition. The Journalists on the Podium reached its 12th edition in Munich.