As meeting director of the Bislett Games for 24 years, Svein Arne Hansen presided over some of the greatest world records – including those from Norwegians Ingrid Kristiansen (10,000m in 1986) and Trine Hattestad (javelin in 2000).
No wonder the President of European Athletics is so delighted to be in Oslo for tonight’s IAAF Diamond League.
Such is the status of the games, that just the name ‘Bislett’ alone radiates throughout world sport with an amazing 65 world records set at the stadium.
But it is not just about the athletics.
As well-renowned is the annual strawberry party which takes place on the eve of the meeting.
Hansen had a fabulous time there yesterday, mingling with old friends and some of the biggest names in track and field, including Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers and Norway’s javelin legend Andreas Thorkildsen, the double Olympic champion.
Norwegian Hansen, the meeting director of the Bislett Games between 1985 and 2009, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be back in Oslo as President of European Athletics. The party was fantastic and I am really looking forward to the Games.
“We had so many wonderful performances during my time as meeting director and that has not stopped since. Athletes really rise to the occasion, wondering whether it is their year to make history at this famous meeting.
“When I think back, there are so many memories – and I am sure a few more will be created tonight.”