23 November 2012 – Barcelona, Spain – The IAAF Centenary weekend will be seeing some of the world’s biggest stars of the present and past grace the celebrations. We put Kajsa Bergqvist (SWE), the 2005 World High Jump champion, under the spotlight and asked her 10 quick-fire questions, a few serious, a few fun, on Friday (23).
Who is your favourite athlete of the past 100 years?
My childhood idol was Carl Lewis. For me, that’s the guy I was watching when I was little that made me think, ‘I want to get into athletics.’
What’s your favourite athletics moment of the past 100 years?
Personally, it must be my own win at the 2005 World Championships following my injury in 2004. That was the biggest moment for me personally, bigger than my world indoor record.
If you could change one thing in world athletics, what would it be?
I would like to see more of it on television and more people taking part. In Sweden when we were so successful a few years ago, we had so many more people take up athletics, I think we’re going to benefit from it in the near future.
Why should people choose athletics as a sport?
Athletics is a unique sport, wherever you are in the world and whoever you are, you can do it to some level at least. It doesn’t require any expensive equipment. It’s the mother of all sports and it should stay on top. It’s so competitive compared to a lot of other sports on television.
Where do you see athletics 100 years from now?
Hopefully the women’s world record will be higher than 2.09m! I think the future is bright.
Of all the venues you competed at, which is your favourite?
Sydney Olympic Stadium.
If a film star had to play you in a movie about your career, who would it be?
Wow, that’s a tough question. I can’t really think of an actress who looks like me. I have no idea, sorry!
Which athlete are you most looking forward to watching at next year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow?
I’m really excited to see what I hope will be a great year for the women’s high jump. There’s not one particular athlete, but I’d like to see some great duels with Blanka (Vlasic) on her way back, with Anna (Chicherova) challenging her and Chaunte Howard as well. I think it’s going to be very, very good.
If you could pick three athletes from the past 100 years to have a dinner party with, who would it be?
Carl Lewis because he was my idol when I was little. It would be very interesting to hear more about Tommie Smith’s moment in 1968. And someone from today – Usain Bolt.
If you had to bake a cake for the IAAF Centenary celebrations, what would it be?
The IAAF started in 1912 after the Olympic Games in Stockholm, so I would probably make a Swedish cake with a lot of blueberries, served with ice cream.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF