Saturday, July 28, 2012
Where was Roger?
I was disappointed last night watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in London. Where was Roger Bannister? When he didn't appear earlier, I fully expected him to be the one to light the Olympic flame.
A long article in The New Yorker several years ago told a fascinating story of how the four minute mile was finally broken. It seems quaint now but this was one of the records that seemed impossible to achieve.
The historic race took place on May 6 1954. As President Obama tried to emphasize last week, success does not happen alone. The campaign to beat the record was a collaboration between Bannister and his colleagues who agreed to be the pace setters. Any of the three could have been chosen to accomplish the feat. Chris Chataway and Chris Basher went on to have stellar running careers, but Roger Bannister is the name that looms large in the history books.
Bannister went on to have a long career as a neurosurgeon. It's a great story of human achievement.