Hansen homecoming as President celebrates Bislett’s 50th anniversary

President Hansen Oslo
European Athletics

European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen met with Dr. Hassan Wario Aero, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts for Kenya, at Oslo City Hall on Wednesday ahead of the Bislett Games.

European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen will be among a host of special guests on Thursday attending the 50th anniversary of the Bislett Games, where he was Meeting Director for 24 years.

The Norwegian Hansen will be joined by stars who lit up the Bislett Stadium in Oslo including European legends Sebastian Coe, Steve Cram and Jan Zelezny.

Other greats attending will be Said Aouita, Roger Moens, Henry Rono, Javier Sotomayor and John Walker. Prince Alberto of Monaco will be another special guest.

Hansen attends the Bislett Games for the first time as the head of athletics in Europe following his election at the Bled 2015 Congress in April. He will lead a European Athletics Council meeting in Oslo from Friday to Sunday following the Diamond League competition.

“It’s a very special moment for me to be part of the celebrations,” said President Hansen. “I have been involved in the meeting since it first started. As a referee to begin with, as Assistant Meeting Director to Arne Haukvik from 1973, as Meeting Director from 1985 to 2009, and as an assistant for the last five years to the new Meeting Director Steinar Hoen.

“It has been – and remains – a central part of my life. I am looking forward to catching up with old friends at our famous ‘strawberry party’, and I wish all the best to Steinar, his great team, the fans, and, of course, all the athletes.”

'My 10 favourite Bislett Games moments,' By Svein Arne Hansen

1. The three world records in my first Bislett Games as Meeting Director! Ingrid Kristiansen in the 10,000m with 30:59.42. Said Aouita in 5,000m with 13:00.40. Steve Cram in the English mile 3:46.32. At midnight we had to ask people to go home because we did not have more to offer! (27/07/1985).

2. Ron Clarke’s world record in the 10,000m in 27:39.40, with me as the starter’s assistant for the race (14/07/65).

3. Sebastian Coe setting the first of his four world records with 1:42.40 in the 800m (05/07/1979).

4. Ingrid Kristiansen setting world record in the 10,000m with 30:13.74. I stood alongside her coach Johan Kaggestad on the infield. It was impossible to talk. We could not hear each other because of the cheering crowd (05/07/1986).

5. Haile Gebreselassie setting a world record in the 10,000m of 26:31.32 in front of a packed stadium (04/07/1997).

6. William Sigei setting a world record in the 10,000m with 26:52.23. The evening also featured five Norwegian records: Hanne Haugland 1.97m in high jump, Vebjørn Rodal 1:43.50 in 800m, Monica Grefstad 13.09 in 100m hurdles, Geir Moen 20.40 at 200m and Steinar Hoen 2.35m in high jump. It was in many ways the start of an era for Norwegian athletics (22/07/1994).

7. Trine Hattestad finishing her Bislett career with 69.48m and world record in the javelin (28/07/2000).

8. Sebastian Coe setting a world record in the 1,000m in 2:13.40, and Steve Ovett following up with a world record in the English mile 3:48.80. "The World Record Track" was born (01/07/1980).

9. Henry Rono setting a world record in the 3,000m with 7:32.10 with a 1,000-dollar bonus to go with it (27/06/1978).

10. Usain Bolt setting a meet record over 100m with 9.79. I had never seen anyone run so fast! (07/06/2012).