The book edited by Nino Vinella tells ‘the Man, the athlete and the champion’
Pietro Mennea’s is a story of sacrifice and passion. The life of the Olympic champion from Barletta was retraced in the book edited by Nino Vinella “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno tells Pietro Mennea, the memorable pages of an extraordinary life. The man, the athlete, the champion” (Di Marsico editore) where the life and deeds of the 200 meter Olympic champion in Moscow 1980 are narrated through many newspaper articles. Mennea was the world record holder in the specialty from 1979 to 1996 with a time of 19″72, which is still the European record, and he also held, from 1979 to 2018, the Italian record for the 100 meters with a time of 10” 01 (European record until 1984).
Among the many anecdotes that Vinella wanted to include, which are present in the articles published in the “Gazzetta” and collected in the book, there is that of his youth run in the Bari gully, in which the athlete lost a shoe, but continued race and won. Nicknamed La Freccia del Sud (a nickname similar to that of a famous express train that connected Milan with Sicily), he is the only thirteenth-century athlete in history to have qualified for four consecutive Olympic finals: from 1972 to 1984. This volume tells the story to the vast public the extraordinary and truest story of the man, the athlete, the champion Pietro Mennea (Barletta 1952 – Rome 2013) through the memorable pages of “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno” chosen from the digital archive for the current tenth anniversary of its death, from 1971 to 1988, i.e. the time span in which he participated in his five Olympics: Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988.
The exclusivity and uniqueness of the volume, published by Di Marsico Libri (Bari – Modugno) in an elephant format capable of giving the reader the suggestion of leafing through the pages of the newspaper and easily reading the texts as if it had just been purchased in newsstand, consist of the timely story of the Champion told by “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno”, the only newspaper closely rooted in the Territory to have historically collected and published news strictly connected to his experience – personal and sporting – in his native city of Barletta and in Puglia, without neglect the links with the rest of the national and international athletic world.
Interesting contributions are made not only by Nino Vinella, but also by Aurelia Maria Miccolis, Oscar Iarussi, Giuliano Rotunno, Nico Pillinini, Carlo Gagliardi and Michele Cristallo. In addition to the biographical aspects, the highly professional and journalistic-editorial interest consists in restoring the most complete knowledge to the public of that stylistic evolution consisting in the methods of “making our newspaper” from the Seventies to the advent of the Nineties. The volume is published under the aegis of the Italian Pro Canne della Battaglia ODV Committee as a Third Sector Body and with non-profit solidarity purposes: full of approximately 300 pages, in “large” 16×42 format.