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WARNING: SOME OF THE VIDEOS PRESENTED HERE ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.
The Olympics and sports in general has a place for dramatics. From cheers to tears.
Sometimes, just finishing the race is more important. Whether it’s prize money or simply the will to survive, I’d like to know what’s on their mind when trying to get to the finish line.
Here’s a recap of some races that come to mind.
- 1984 Los Angeles Olympics 400m semi-final with Bert Cameron
- 1992 Barcelona Olympics – Derek Redmond pulls hamstring and walks to the finish line with his Father.
- 1908 London Olympic marathon Dorando Pietri. I feel sorry for him, as the official marathon distance was extended to today’s standard 26 miles 385 yards simply for the Queen to have the starting line in front of her castle!
- Jim Peters at the 1954 the Vancouver Empire State Games (now called the Commonwealth Games) marathon. This is the same event of the famous Roger Bannister and John Landy duel. He finally completed that marathon when he was invited back to Vancouver several years later. Sadly, the stadium was recently torn down. I drive by that landmark every week.
- 1968 Olympic Marathon last place finisher John Stephen Akwari of Tanzania
- 1984 Olympic Women’s marathon Gabrielle Andersen-Scheiss. And you wonder why prior to 1972 the longest distance contested for women was 1500 meters! (YouTube video here)
- The IronMan Hawaii Triathlon of 1997, where Sian Welch and Wendy Ingram battle it out for 4th place! Yes, Forth place! This marathon is after the swim and bike! The YouTube video is here.
- And more recently in 2008, we have Kayoko Fukushi debut marathon. Fukushi is the Japanese 3000m, 5000m and half marathon national record holder. She goes out at a 2:20 pace, and eventually finishes 19th place in 2:40:54. Granted, you need speed for a marathon, but don’t forget the base mileage! The YouTube video is here:
I think I’ll stick to the 200 meters and 400 meters!