The name Valentino Rossi is synonymous to MotoGP and motorcycle racing in general, thanks to his illustrious racing career that spanned more than 25 years, 9 Grand Prix titles, 115 GP wins, and 235 podiums.
With such an incredible feat that is currently unmatched by any other rider, it will be unsurprising that such a name would be honored tremendously, and that this name would appear on an aircraft’s fuselage.
ITA Airways – Italy’s flag carrier airline since 2021 – has decided that it is time to honor Italians who were champions in their respective sports by putting their names on the airline’s shiny new aircraft through their Blue Legends program.
For the first batch of sportsmen, ITA chose cyclist Gino Bartali, cyclist Fausto Coppi, sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Pietro Mennea, and footballer Paolo Rossi. For the second batch of Italy’s pride, the airline company had conducted an online survey to gauge the public on which Italian sports legends should be honored next.
The Italian public has chosen 22 athletes which are no longer competing in their respective sports, among them, the names Valentino Rossi, Giacomo “Ago” Agustini, and the late Marco Simoncelli.
Each of these new aircraft is painted in ITA’s blue and white livery, while the Italian tricolore – the symbol of the Italian flag – is proudly displayed at each aircraft’s vertical stabilizer.
Rossi, though his official social media page, expressed gratitude and has said that he is happy to be part of ITA’s Blue Legends program. “So nice to see my name on your plane! Happy to be part of the Blue Legends of ITA Airways.”
How about here in the country? Do you think it is time for our flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, to also honor our athletes by putting their names on their planes?