Last modified: 2005-09-02 by juan manuel gabino villascán
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Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán,
IAAF is the International Association of Athletics Federation (the first A stood in the past for Amateur, but the IAAF eventually decided to drop "Amateur" after years of ridiculous hypocrisy).
Click to enlarge
Luis Miguel Arias Pérez, as appeared in Gaceta de Banderas, May 2004.
Regifted by: Santiago Dotor, May 13, 2004.
This is the flag of the International
Association of Athletics Federations as it appears in Gaceta de Banderas,
May 2004 issue, drawn by Luis Miguel Arias Pérez and exported to a
FOTW GIF by myself.
Santiago Dotor, May 13, 2004.
The official name of the event which took place in Stade de France from 23 to 31 August 2003 is: IAAF World Championships in Athletics Paris 2003 Saint-Denis.
Paris is the city welcoming the event, but the Stade de France was built in the neighbouring municipality of Saint-Denis, a few kilometers north of Paris, near the basilica where most kings of France were buried. To associate both cities into the event, the marathon races started in front of the city hall of Paris, crossed Paris and finished in the Stade de France. Usucally, the marathons in international championships start and finish in the stadium.
Inside the stadium, there were three poles with the flags of the International Olympic Committee, France, and most probably IAAF. On most days, there was so little wind that these three flags were to large to fly properly.
The flags of the participating nations were hoisted vertically from the roof all around the stadium, both outside and inside. The flags were arranged the same way the nations entered the stadium during the opening ceremony, i.e. according to the French alphabetical order of names, with some oddities [already pointed out by Olivier].
There were three main mistakes in hoisting, two of them being the same during the opening ceremony:
There were 210 participating nations, the only missing member of the IAAF being Iraq. Therefore, there should have been 210 flags hung but only 209 seem to have been used. French Polynesia marched under the French tricolor flag and not the territory flag. That flag could have been hung between Poland [Pologne] and Puerto Rico [Porto Rico] but it was not there [yesterday, I sat 'just' below Puerto Rico and Portugal, so that I could not have missed the Polyneaisan flag]. The French tricolor flag was not hung probably to avoid a duplication of the national flag. Note that the Polynesian flag was hung in Athens, four years ago, and maybe in Edmonton, two years ago.
Making a lap of honour with the national flag after a victory (and also after a second or thrid place, in certain cases) seems to be now an established practice. It would be interesting to know when and where it started.
The medal ceremony involved as usual rising the colours of the three medalists. The flags were risen "by hand" by 80 students of the "Ecole Interamree des Sports", who performed a remarkable job. First, the three flags were attached to the ropes and placed at the same horizontal level. This was prepared in advance, long before the official announcement of the ceremony, for the pleasure of vexillologists who could guess what would happened before the lesser mortals. This also allowed correction, as it happened yesterday. I was really worried because of a possible diplomatic incident because the Russian and Turkish flag were inverted before the ceremony of the women's 1,500 m. Fortunately, the mistake was noticed and the flags were quickly swapped short before the ceremony.
The rising was rather unusual because the silver and bronze medalist's flags were not risen at the same horizontal level, as it is most often the case. Similarly, the stary podium had unequal steps for the second and third. This seems to be logical since there is a difference between the second and the third place.
On TV images, the flags hung vertically between the camera (the white globe sliding over the stadium on a cable, which could be seen only by the stadium spectators) received unexpected attention because they were "collaterally" seen during each ceremony. Those happy flags were Netherlands Antilles (Antilles Neerlandaises), Saudi Arabia (Arabie Seoudite), Argentina [Argentine], Armenia [Armenie] and Aruba [Aruba].
Ivan Sache, August 2003.
Allow me to tell you that the in formation Mr. Sache provides on Paris 2003 Championships is very interesting. But let me remark some small details:
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 2003.