Gevaert still remains the queen of Belgian sprints, but also the empress of the Memorial Van Damme. Besides her impressive record at the meeting, she owns the title of the athlete with the most appearances. From 1998 up to 2008 she competed every year, 11 times in total, in the 100m or the 200m. Gevaert recorded 4 wins in the 200m and won the 100m in her farewell year in 2008.
Gevaert was the absolute favourite of the local crowd throughout the years 2000 and she remained a public darling afterwards. She stayed involved with the organisation of the meeting, as a coach of kids clinics or as an ambassador of the meeting and a valuable host at press conferences. Kim Gevaert is also an ambassador for Allianz since January 2020, the biggest sponsor and title partner of Belgian Athletics and title partner of the Memorial Van Damme. Cédric Van Branteghem is becoming CEO of the Belgian Olympic Committee and Kim Gevaert is the ideal person to become the new Meeting Director.
Bob Verbeeck, CEO of Golazo : “With Kim Gevaert coming on board we continue Golazo’s tradition to give former athletes an active role in our company. Christophe Impens, Marc Corstjens and Cédric Van Branteghem are all former international athletes who once did the same. I am delighted that Kim has accepted the huge task. She is a true athletics expert, but I was especially surprised about the ambitions that she has shown. She can count on a strong and experienced organisation team that we have put in place throughout the years.”
Kim Gevaert : “What an honour ! The Memorial Van Damme is one of the strongest brands in international athletics, not only in Belgium but worldwide. I have always carried this meeting in my heart, because of the enthusiastic crowd and the magical athmosphere in the stadium. Meanwhile Brussels has become my hometown. We live very close by, I work in the city and I adore its multicultural character and spirit. I was already happy to contribute to the meeting in recent years and I have reached a moment in life where I feel ready to take more responsabilities on my shoulders. I jump in this project with a lot of positive vibes and – I admit – with a little bit of stress as well.”
Wilfried Meert, president of the Memorial Van Damme : “Having been the most popular athlete in our country and at the Memorial Van Damme means that you are a great personality. Kim knows the sports and the Memorial in a way that nobody else does. And she brings in a lot more of her qualities as a person, which makes her the ideal new Meeting Director. I am really looking forward to see her walk in to her new environment, 23 years after she set her first shy steps on the track at her first appearance at the Memorial.”
Cédric Van Branteghem, actual Meeting Director : “I am excited that Kim Gevaert is taking over from me. We know each other very well, we’re from the same generation and we lived our great sporting moments together at major championships. It will be a pleasure for me to introduce Kim in the next weeks in the management of the meeting and she can be sure that I will always be available and supportive. Kim has always been a pioneer in the way that she operated in her sports, therefore it is really brilliant that she becomes the first female Meeting Director in Brussels and the second woman only to become a Meeting Director of a Diamond League meeting.”
The 46th Allianz Memorial Van Damme, the first one directed by Kim Gevaert, will take place on Friday Sep.,2nd in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.