Un retour du cross-country au programme olympique ?

Publié le par Demi-fondu74,

En cette période de Jeux Olympiques d’hiver, certains passionnés d’athlétisme fantasment sur un possible retour du cross-country au programme olympique. C’est en tout cas la demande qu’avait formulée conjointement les champions qu’on ne présente plus que sont Haile Gebresselassie, Kenenisa Bekele et Paul Tergat. A eux trois, ils représentent pas moins de 5 titres olympiques, 16 titres mondiaux en cross-country et des records du monde du 5000m au marathon.


La lettre ouverte en question (en anglais) :

President of the IOC, Mr. Jacques Rogge and president of the IAAF, Mr. Lamine Diack


We the undersigned global champions and record breakers would like to invite your two highly esteemed federations to consider the re-introduction of cross country running into the Olympic Games programme, either as a summer or a winter sport.


Cross country running is of course the most natural, indeed elemental of all sports. It is a fascinating discipline whose roots are lost in the earliest history of mankind.

In the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, cross country running was so far seen for the last time with the victory of one of the greatest ever Olympians, Finland’s Paavo Nurmi.

The official report at the time noted that a combination of unseasonal hot weather and the effects of the heat of a near-by industrial chimney – yes we had global warming in those days too! – meant that the air temperature on the course was as high as 36 degrees Centigrade (96.8 Fahrenheit). As such, of the 38 starts, 23 failed to finish. The problems of 1924 were certainly unique.


So we humbly and respectfully ask, what is your opinion about returning cross country running to a future Olympic Games, either on the programme of a summer or winter celebration?

We think it would be wonderful to give the worlds best cross country runners the chance to compete in the greatest of all sporting festivals, and are hopeful of a positive response.


Yours in sport,

Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele, Paul Tergat

Publié dans News internationales

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