As part of our Centenary celebrations, the IAAF has produced a monumental book reviewing the international governing body's contribution to the sport and explores many different aspects of international athletics.
Superbly designed, the volume runs to 430 large pages of English and French text and includes some 200 photographs from the Getty Images archive.
IAAF President Lamine Diack writes in the introduction: "As you will read in the pages of this impressive book, athletics is complex and wonderfully varied, but it also embodies passion, hard work and self-improvement. Our sport is education and entertainment, respect for the rules and self-expression. Athletics is like life itself, with challenges and obstacles, triumphs and defeats."
Following a concise history of the IAAF and athletics from 1912 to the present day by Roberto L. Quercetani, David Miller provides lively portraits of the five Presidents – a Swedish disciplinarian and innovator, an English aristocrat and Olympic champion, an energetic Dutch technical expert, an impetuous and controversial Italian, and a calm politician from Senegal.
Other articles dealing with the functions and responsibilities of the IAAF include Dave Johnson on Rules, Sergey Bubka on Development, Victor López on Coaches' Education, Pierre Weiss on Marketing, Arne Ljungqvist on the Fight Against Doping and David Miller on the End of Amateurism.
There are sections dealing with the development of athletics in the various Areas (Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, Oceania and NACAC representing North America, Central America and the Caribbean), while Mark Butler provides highlights of the IAAF's "jewel in the crown", the World Championships, Doug Gillon writes about the Indoor Championships and Phil Minshull covers the Junior and Youth Championships. Road racing, cross-country and race walking are all documented.
The athletics fan keen on an historical perspective of great achievements in our sport will welcome such features as The World's Fastest Human by Richard Hymans, The Mile: An Everlasting Legend by Alain Billouin (editor of the book's French text), Women's Athletics by Peter Radford, The Rise of African Distance Running by Pat Butcher, and A Dream of a Decathlon in which Mel Watman (the book's editor) conjures up a contest between the world's greatest all-rounders.
Bringing the century-old story right up to date are reflections on the London Olympics, together with the photos and achievements of the first 24 athletes to be inducted into the new IAAF Hall of Fame in November 2012.
This wide ranging, instructive and fascinating publication is available at the bargain price of 60 US dollars, post and packing included. For payment options and ordering, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.