I am very excited to say that the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 will take place in my hometown Daegu on 27 Aug. to 4 Sep. 2011! If you didn’t already know, this athletics festival take place over nine days, where the world’s best athletes will compete for the title of World Champion under the roof of Daegu Stadium!
This being said, I was very surprised to found out that not many people are too familiar with the IAAF World Championships here in Korea. That is why I have started this blog! It is my mission to teach Korea and the world more about athletics, and develop a new appreciation for the sport.
I will lead you on a journey from the birth and development of the IAAF from the 1st IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland all the way through to my event, the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011!
It comes as a surprise to many that the first ever IAAF World Championships was held only 27 years ago in 1983. This delay was mainly due to the popularity of the Summer Olympic Games, before the first IAAF World Championships was held, a track and field athlete who earned the Olympic Gold was considered the World Champion of his/her event. As this was the only way it was ever done, it was accepted by all; even the world governing body, the IAAF [International Amateur Athletic Federation (Changed to International Association of Athletics Federations in 2001)], had embraced this idea that caused great controversy in later years. Although the Olympic Games are considered to be the capstone of any athlete’s career, many questioned whether an Olympic Champion could also be titled World Champion.
It was in the late 1960 that both the IAAF and international athletic fans began to voice their opinion that “The athletics world champion should be the winner of the World Championships in Athletics.”
| Official Emblem of World Championships in Athletics Helsinki|
 Official Mascot of World Championships in Athletics Helsinki
 Official Poster of World Championships in Athletics Helsinki
This was the spark that finally led the IAAF to host an independent athletics event apart from the Olympic Games. Two very qualified cities (Helsinki, Finland and Stuttgart, Germany) submitted bids to host the inaugural IAAF World Championships. Finland, well known for its athletes, especially in the Throwing Events earned the title of ‘the first host country of the IAAF World Championships.’
| Helsinki Olympic Stadium|
During the IAAF World Championships Helsinki 1983, the Finnish Team fielded many excellent athletes, one of the most well known being Paavo Nurmi who set the WR in 10,000 m which had not been broken for 13 years.
In addition to the Finnish athletes, many other notables attended the event to include; Carl Lewis (USA) participated in a Men’s 100m, 4x100m, and Long Jump in earning the title of World Champion in each event. This event was just the beginning of Carl Lewis’s success, as the world’s most decorated male in athletics he has earned total of ten World Championships Medals of which eight were gold medals and earned ten Olympic medals of which nine gold.
| Serhiy Nazarovych Bubka|
Sergey Bubka (URS/UKR) also began his illustrious athletics career during the IAAF World Championships Helsinki 1983. Competing in the Pole Vault, Bubka won 6 consecutive IAAF World Championships, an Olympic gold medal and broke the Men’s Pole Vault World Record 35 times. As an outdoor athlete he is known as the first man to ever 6.0m and the only man to have ever cleared 6.14m, the height of his still reigning WR set on 31 July 1994 in Sestriere, Italy. Bubka also holds the current World Indoor Record of 6.15m, which was set on 21 February 1993 in Donetsk, Ukraine. Following his career as an athlete Sergey Bubka continued working within the athletics community serving as an IAAF Council Member, the Ukraine NOC President, an IOC Member, as well as being the current IAAF Senior Vice President.
The historic 1st IAAF World Championships in Helsinki is indeed remembered as the first independent world festival in athletics and the spark that ignited the world’s newfound love for athletics. The birth of IAAF World Championships has given many hard-working athletes the opportunity needed to show off their potential to the world and to inspire future generations to never relent in the pursuit of their dreams.