President Wirz looks forward to ‘landmark’ 2012 European Athletics Championships during Helsinki visit
|European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz with Mikaela Ingberg and
Helsinki 2012 Chairman and Finnish Athletics Federation President
Antti Pihlakoski at the Finnish Sports Gala on Monday.
(Photo by SUL / Matti Erkkila)
President Wirz discussed preparations with Helsinki 2012 Chairman and Finnish Athletics Federation President Antti Pihlakoski on Tuesday ahead of next week’s final Event Coordination Committee Meeting.
“Helsinki 2012 promises to be landmark event in the history of European Athletics. A successful championships featuring the continent's best athletes will increase the intense interest in athletics during an Olympic year and add momentum to the sport ahead of the Games in London,” said President Wirz.
“As our flagship event switches to a two-year cycle we will provide from Helsinki onwards the platform for hundreds of top European athletes to compete at their optimum level more than once every four years. This will help to increase our sport’s visibility and popularity on the continent as we create more European champions, providing inspiration to a greater number of young people."
The 2012 European Athletics Championships will be held in Helsinki from 27 June to 1 July. The 2014 championships are set for Zurich followed by Amsterdam 2016.
In-between a number of meetings during his two-day visit to Finland, President Wirz was invited as a guest of honour to the annual Finnish Sports Gala on Monday night, where former European Athletics Championships medallist Mikaela Ingberg was voted as the Role Model of the Year.
The 37-year-old Ingberg, one of the finest female javelin throwers to come from Finland, continues to be actively involved in the development of athletics. She is the account manager for team services for Helsinki 2012 and also heads the Athletes Commission of European Athletics. The award recognised Ingberg’s invaluable contribution to Finnish society both as an athlete and as a role model for younger athletes.
“Mikaela has served athletics with distinction both at national and international level in a number of capacities. She is a role model in the true sense for the next generation of athletes for the way she has conducted herself first as an athlete and then as a successful and enthusiastic sports administrator and the way she has managed her transition from an elite athlete to an equally good sports administrator is an example for every athlete to emulate,” said President Wirz.