István Gyulai Athletics Stadium inauguration - name is unveiled (© Getty Images)
Debrecen, HungaryYesterday evening at 18:00hrs (16:00GMT) the IAAF Family gathered for a very special event which took place on the eve of the inaugural IAAF World Road Running Championships.
The name István Gyulai, Hungary’s late IAAF General Secretary who died in office earlier this year, had his name given to Debrecen’s Athletics stadium, a venue which had been until then unnamed. The stadium had been the original inspiration of both Gyulai and the Mayor of the City, Lajos Kósa, and was the venue of a most successful edition of the IAAF World Youth Championships in 2001.
“I thank and congratulate the Mayor and the city of Debrecen for naming its athletics stadium after Istvan Gyulai. This is a worthy tribute for a man who is sadly missed and who gave so much to the sport of athletics,” said IAAF President Diack.
“Istvan devoted his entire life to our sport. As a young man, he was an international athlete and then became Head of Sport for Hungarian TV, combining that career with important positions in Hungarian and international sport. He was a member of the IAAF Council from 1984 until 2001, and was appointed IAAF General Secretary in 1991, working tirelessly and with great imagination for the cause of world athletics. His colleagues on the Council and in our Member Federations, as well as all the members of IAAF staff, will sadly miss his friendly manner, his intelligence and his energy. I also believe that Istvan was extremely courageous in the face of a cruel illness, continuing to work as hard as ever, without complaint.”
“Istvan Gyulai was a great servant of Athletics and Olympic Sport: a unique talent on the track and at the Council table. Questioning, testing, enigmatic, and enthusiastic, pushing the boundaries, open to any new idea but prepared to test it to destruction, proud and brave.”
“I am sure that he would have been extremely honoured to know that the authorities in Debrecen had noted his contribution to Hungarian and World Athletics by naming this stadium after him,” concluded Diack.