Press Release29 Sep 2019

1956 Olympic winning spike joins collection, as Coe and Bach visit Heritage Exhibition


IAAF President Sebastian Coe and IOC President Thomas Bach visit the IAAF Heritage Exhibition in Doha (© Getty Images)

Members of the IAAF Council and the IOC Board led by their respective presidents, Sebastian Coe and Thomas Bach, visited the IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition in Doha, Qatar on Saturday (28).

The focus of the official visit was the long-term loan to the IAAF Heritage Collection of the spikes (right shoe), which Brazil’s Adhemar Ferreira da Silva wore when winning the 1956 Olympic Games triple jump title in Melbourne, Australia. Fittingly, the left shoe rests in The National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where those Games took place.

Da Silva, who had previously won the triple jump gold medal four years earlier at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, was a five-time world record holder and is widely recognised as South America’s greatest ever track and field athlete.


Shoe worn by Adhemar Da Silva at the 1956 Olympic Games


The spike shoe was kindly presented to Sebastian Coe by its owners Wilfred and Rosemary Mula, who are close friends of the Da Silva’s family.

IAAF President Sebastian Coe said: “It was good to step back in history today accompanied by Thomas (Bach) and athletics legends Lasse (Viren), Sergey (Bubka), Gail (Devers) and Nawal (el Moutawakel), all of whom are featured in the exhibits and displays of our World Athletics Heritage Exhibition."

The shoe joins Da Silva’s 1952 & 1956 Olympic uniforms and gold medals which are already on display in the Heritage Exhibition, thanks to a loan from the collection of Roberto Gesta De Melo.

"The exhibition is very inspiring with so many heroes of athletics brought to life," Bach said. "For me it brings back so many great memories because it allowed me to relive all the amazing world championships that I attended. And it was great to see my Olympic hero Wilma Rudolph represented, she was the athlete who first inspired my love of the Olympic Games."

The men’s triple jump is well represented in the exhibition. One of the 1995 (current) world record bib numbers of Jonathan Edwards, the 2003 World Championships kit of Christian Olsson and a pair of bespoke spikes from three-time world and two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor are among the artefacts on display in Doha.

The IAAF Heritage World Athletics Championships Exhibition, whose six-month display was inaugurated on 18 April 2019 by Sebastian Coe, is open from 10am to 10pm every day (until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and closes at the end of Monday 7 October. The exhibition is located in 400m2 space on the 3rd floor of the City Center Doha, 4th Street, West Bay Area.


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