I started training for the Long and Triple Jump full time in September 1983 under the coaching of Dennis Barrett of McGill University.
At the time, Calvin Smith broke the longstanding 100m World Record of 9.95 sec set back in 1968 by Jim Hines! Smith ran a 9.93 in altitude.
9.93 was the standard for us back then!
It wasn’t until 1987 when Ben Johnson broke that record in 9.83 at the World Championships in Rome (with Carl Lewis equaling the old record in 9.93)
Photo credits: Popperfoto
Finally, we all know what happened in Seoul 1988. I don’t need to refresh that story.
Calvin Smith, the Forgotten Man
There has been documentaries for that Seoul 1988 race. Daniel Gordon’s ESPN 30 for 30 9.79 comes to mind. So does Richard Moore’s book The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final
Looking back, I believe Calvin Smith’s WR was a clean world record, and his bronze medal – where he crossed the line fourth, should have been gold.
Hence the title of his autobiography It Should Have Been Gold: The Silent Runner Speaks
To put 9.93 in perspective 32 years ago, only 12 men broke 9.93 in 2015.
I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on my reading list.
I have the utmost respect for him, and his son, who won gold at the 4x400m 2016 World Indoors in Portland.
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