PietroMennea, the greatest sprinter in the history of Italian athletics, is the protagonist of the TV film produced by Casanova Multimedia
Script by Fabrizio Bettelli, Simona Izzo and Ricky Tognazzi
Mini television series with two episodes of 100’ each for Rai Uno produced by Casanova Multimedia for Rai Fiction
Pietro Mennea is the greatest sprinter in the history of Italian athletics. He was the 1980 Moscow Olympic 200 meter champion and between 1979 and 1996 he held the 200 meter world record with his time of 19.72 seconds, which is still the European record as of date.
He was born in a working class family: there is a legend that when he was a child, Mennea was already famous for competing against the “flashy cars” of the richest youths in town. No Alfa Romeo or Ferrari could beat him, sprinting Pietro would outrun them all. This is the beginning of one of the most successful stories for Italian sport. With a collection of medals that span the Giochi del Mediterraneo and include the European, World and Olympic championships. In the latter he was the first to run four consecutive finals. He was unchallenged in the Games at Montreal in 1976 and at those in Moscow in 1980. He would remember each Olympic Games with pleasure including their historical and geo-political contexts. His world record in the 200 meter became in turn was unchallenged for no less than 17 years (the longest time ever in the race’s history). It is still the European record to date. This great champion made the ethical values and principles related to sportsmanship his flag.
At the beginning of his career he was taught something which he took to heart for his entire life: one fights one’s enemy but one competes with one’s adversary. Competition implies loyalty and respect. The values of the Olympic Games are absolute, just as it used to be in Greece during the Olympic Games: even war was interrupted ensuing in truces often destined to become lasting peace…
The TV film, produced by Casanova Multimedia, targets both a young audience that knows little of Mennea’s history and who have perhaps heard of the great champion possibly by their parents or from books, and a more mature audience that lived through the years covered by this story. The main concern is sport as the best educational tool being filled with rules that induce respect for one’s adversary, even during a competition.