Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gino Bartali: 'Righteous Among the Nations'

This morning, at Yad Vashem, the Shrine of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Gino Bartali’s name was engraved on the Wall of Honor in the Garden of the Righteous.

Andrea Bartali points to his father's name

Gino Bartali’s son, Andrea, with Gianni Bugno, President of the CPA, in Jerusalem as Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia guests, unveiled the commemorative plaque bearing bearing Gino’s name. Andrea Bartali said he was very moved by the honor bestowed upon his father: “I am proud to be here today: my father always thought that cycling was a school of life, and this is proof that he was correct. I believe that the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Jerusalem perfectly represents my father, who was a champion both in the Giro d’Italia and in life, which is why his name was written on the Wall of Honor today.”

Francesco Maria Talò, the Italian Ambassador to Israel was also present at the ceremony: “I think it is right and proper to celebrate Gino Bartali because he has proven that it is possible to be a champion in sport and in life. The bicycle is the perfect tool in this ‘mission’ because it teaches us that to maintain balance we must always look ahead and never stop pedalling. Gino Bartali did just that.”

Also in attendance at today’s ceremony were Dorit Novak, the general director of Yad Vashem, Giulia Donati Baquis and Giorgio Goldenberg, who survived the Holocaust thanks to the false documents provided by Gino Bartali, and Renzo Ventura, representing his family members who also survived thanks to Gino.

After receiving the honor on behalf of his father today, tomorrow Andrea will be at the start of the first edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Jerusalem. The amateur cycling event, which will see hundreds of Giro d’Italia fans on the streets of Jerusalem, is part of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia series; two rounds remain: Beverly Hills on November 3 and Miami on November 10.

The 2014 Giro d'Italia will also mark the centenary of Gino Bartali's birth.

Photo: Yad Vashem

Related story in ICJ:
Gino Bartali Recognized as 'Righteous Among the Nations'

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