PARIS – The 100-year anniversary celebrations of the International Ice Hockey Federation continued in Paris last weekend. During the festivities, a commemorative plaque was unveiled at 34 rue de Provence in Paris, where the IIHF was founded on May 15, 1908. The ceremonies were headed by IIHF President René Fasel and the French Secretary of State for Youth Affairs, Sports and Associative Life, Bernand Laporte.
The presidents of the four founding national associations – Belgium, France, Great Britain and Switzerland – were on hand as well as Henri Sérandour, the president of the French Olympic Committee. The presidents (Pascal Nuchelmans, Belgium, Luc Tardif, France, Eamon Convery, Great Britain and Fredy Egli, Switzerland) each received a miniature of the statue of a hockey player produced by the famous Spanish artist Rosa Serra. The full-scale original stands at the IIHF headquarters in Zurich.
Laporte, who was the rugby national team coach from 1999-2007 before he took his post with the French government, hosted the festivities at the Ministry of Sports before leaving for the birthplace of hockey in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. He emphasised the importance of international federations that organise sports on a high level and congratulated the IIHF Council members on their election before wishing a happy anniversary to all those involved.
“Being 100 years old as an international federation is not common, especially not among winter sports as only the International Skating Union was founded before, in 1892,” Laporte said. “I take pride that we can celebrate here, going back to the roots at 34 rue de Provence, where the IIHF was founded by a Frenchman, Louis Magnus, and where the federation had its first headquarters.”
“The 100 year circle is complete,” said IIHF President René Fasel. “We are back where it all started, at 34 rue de Provence in Paris. It is really a wonderful occasion and I am really proud that we could bring the representatives of the four founding members to this ceremony.”
The plaque will be installed at the French House of Sports.