National and International Top Athletes as "Ambassadors"
A team of "sports ambassadors" is participating in a publicity campaign for the most important track and field event in the coming year. The organisational committee for the 18th European Championships in Athletics in Munich (Aug. 6-11, 2002), has named its national and international representatives. 30 years after the Olympic Games, Olympic medallists, world-record holders and other top athletes have committed themselves to promoting the European Championships which will be held under the world famous tent roof of the Olympic Stadium.Along with long-jump Olympic gold medallist Heike Drechsler, for whom the European Championships in her native country will presumably mark the end of a long career, pole-vaulter Danny Ecker (has cleared 6 m ) will also invest his energy in directing public attention to the European Championships in the Olympic Stadium. Three decades after the spectacular performances by his mother, Heide Rosendahl, Danny succeeds her in a prominent role in the same stadium.
At the European Cup in Bremen, junior world champion Sina Schielke, currently Germany's fastest contender in the 100 and 200 m, was named as a representative. Hurdler Florian Schwarthoff, Olympic bronze medallist in 1996, who played an influential role in the awarding of the continental competitions to Munich, and shotput icon Oliver Sven Buder, who has adopted Munich as his second home, had previously been selected for the honorary positions. A spot is being held open for one further German "sports ambassador". Sports achievement, charisma and demeanour are the decisive criteria in the organising committee's choice of representatives.
If the names of the German sports representatives are impressive, so too is the list of international stars chosen by their countries and regions to emphasize the importance of this event and to encourage the public to visit the European Championship competitions. Recently, triple-jump Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, representing Great Britain (a nation of track and field enthusiasts) joined the league of those promoting the European Championships. In Scandinavia, Norway's 800m gold medallist in Atlanta in 1996, Vebjörn Rodal is a representative for the 18th European Championships in Athletics in 2002. Roman Sebrle, the decathlon world-record holder with 9,000 points, is the representative for the Czech Republic. He has already represented the Munich organisational committee at his country's national championships.