Elio Stroppiana (Mondo) © Copyright

Elio Stroppiana, co-founder of Mondo, dies

The IAAF is deeply saddened by the news that Elio Stroppiana, a co-founder of Mondo, died on Saturday (26) after a long illness at his home near Alba, Italy. Stroppiana was 80.

Together with his brother Ferruccio, Stroppiana co-founded Mondo, turning the artisanal ball and toy production workshop that their father founded in 1948 into a worldwide leader in the manufacture and installation of commercial and athletics surfaces which currently employs more than 900 people in its three divisions which comprise nine production facilities and three subsidiaries around the world.

"My father was a great inventor of products, an extraordinary technician who has dedicated his whole life to work and to design new projects," his son Federico, a Mondo vice president, told La Stampa.

"With my uncle Ferruccio, for over fifty years they have lived almost like Siamese twins and have created an exciting business adventure."

In 1969 Mondo introduced Sportflex, the world's first prefabricated running track. That innovation led to its ongoing international partnerships which have lasted to this day. Mondo has provided the tracks for every Olympic Games since 1976 and has been an IAAF Official supplier since 1987. More than 260 world records have been set on the more than 1100 tracks made by Mondo that are installed worldwide.

A regular fixture at IAAF events, Stroppiana was also a supporter of the International Athletics Foundation and the annual IAF Gala.

Stroppiana is survived by his wife Silvana and sons Federico and Maurizio and their families.