by Nino Vinella
On the Italian evening of the Mattarella bis to fly was Pietro Mennea. By singular coincidence one hour after re-election as Head of State, right from Rome, departing at 10 pm on the route between Fiumicino and Milan Linate with the AZ 2108 service flew on Saturday 29 January for the first time theAirbus A319 with strictly blue livery dedicated to the Olympic champion Pietro Mennea in the fleet ITA Airways.
The maiden flight had been announced by the Companycommunicating the name that made him famous as “Arrow of the South”, ITA Airways wanted to baptize the PIETRO MENNEA and put its second brand new aircraft into operation a few weeks after the Airbus A320 named after the football player Paolo Rossi as a tribute to ten sports personalities recognized as authentic and popular icons of Italy in the world.
So 2022 started flying… like another year which already carries with it all intact the emotion for the indelible memory of Pietro Mennea in the heart and the story of his formidable exploits as an unforgettable world speed champion in the history of athletics and Italian sport in the world.
HISTORICAL DATES – As mentioned on the occasion of the Cicloavventura on the streets and places of Mennea, organized on four stages passing from Formia and arriving in the capital by the Roman Association “Pedalando nella Storia” which started on January 19 from the birthplace in Via Porta Reale 20 in Barletta, they will be seventy years from birth, the third male of five siblings by father Salvatore and mother Vincenza, he is a refined tailor and she is a housewife, in Barletta on that day of Saturday 28 June 1952 and with baptism in the nearby church of San Giacomo.
It will be fifty years, half a century ago, when – just twenty years old – Pietro won on Monday 4 September 1972 in Germany the first Olympic medal of his long-lived sports career at the XX Games in Munich (marred by the bloody terrorist action against the Israeli athletes that he he will recount himself in a book published posthumously in July 2020), placing himself in third place on the distance most congenial to him of two hundred meters. He was just twenty years old, Pietro Paolo Mennea from Barletta.
And since that first Olympics, the successes, the primates, the records (that time of 19 “72 recorded at the Universiade in Mexico City on 12 September 1979, a date later celebrated as” Mennea Day “, is still an unbeaten continental European record of two hundred) written with his name Barletta everywhere in the world …
PRIDE IN WORDS from Senator Dario Damiani (Forza Italia): “Pietro Mennea continues to fly, from the slopes to the skies of the whole world. It is a great pride for me, his fellow citizen of Barletta, to remember how Pietro Mennea is an athlete that Italy and the world still carry in the eyes and in the heart, as I was able to see through the great success of the stamp dedicated to him for the 40th anniversary of his Olympic victory in Moscow. A tribute that I personally solicited in 2020 and which was also greatly appreciated at an international level. Pietro flew on the slopes, with his talent and his tireless determination: he will continue to do so by taking his name, that of our country and of his city, Barletta, around the world “.
THE MYTH of the ever greater human speed in Sport, all muscles, grit, sprint and determination continues to accompany the legendary but now increasingly better historically documented figure of Pietro Mennea in the collective imagination: this year an airplane, in 2015 the “Red Arrow 1000” desired by the Ferrovie dello Stato group. Then full red livery. With the Airbus of ITA Airway, the blue livery chosen as a symbol of unity, cohesion and pride of the country, representative of the sport and of the Italian national team worthy of him, a man of records in terms of speed, and still the only 200meter to have qualified for 5 Consecutive Olympics (from 1972 to 1988) and, among many others, he is the holder of two important records set in 1979: the world one on the 200 meters run in 19 “72, a record that was beaten only in 1996 and which is still today European record (after over 40 years) and the European record of 100 meters with 10 ”01 improved at national level only in 2018.
#wishes #Pietro #Mennea #President #Mattarella
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