16 Days of Glory !~
16 Days of Glory
I often express in the Life in the Fast Lane blog that I understand, appreciate and encourage balance. We as fellow runners each enjoy other avenues of pleasure in life whether it be fishing, surfing, traveling, soccer,sports spectating of major American and world sports and of course good social conversation with each other with our friends and good down to earth R&R…….. But let me say, let me reiterate, let me state, that at the end of the day, we are about solid, hard, blue collar intense but smart training and even harder power racing……. Jonathan Beverly, The Editor In Chief of Running Times magazine quoted me in one of his editorials a few years back where he commented on how much he liked my ‘ training in the image of an Olympian’…. this I still believe to this day~meaning that we follow the intelligent rational methods of the Olympic athlete and we conduct ourselves every day in their image of professional methods of training and racing striving to be the best we can be. The Olympic athletes are the pinnacle of what we strive to do and achieve every day and they serve for me as a reminder of what can be achieved with old fashioned hard work, a little luck and a ‘little‘ bit of talent….they inspire me and always have by watching their marvelous talents and hard work…. they are the leaders figuratively and literally in our field and serve as the ambassadors that we should study but not copy. With that said, in recent times there have been incredible moments in athletics history~too numerous to mention but the golden age of British middle distance running ranks right up there with the best of them…. Scroll below to see part of Bud Greenspan's 16 days of Summer from 1984 Los Angeles, focusing on the 1500 meter Olympic final. In 102 degree temperatures, you can see from camera angles not usually seen (such as the reverse angle from the second turn at the climax of the race with 150 to go) and the tumultuous climax of Coe, Ovett and Cram and Abascal of Spain. If you understand the history of Coe and Ovett that led up to this race you will have chills at the last scenes of this video. Ovett had been plagued with bronchial problems and hamstring injuries sustained in fast training in the cold weather in southern England the previous winter and then almost drowned in the surf of Bondi Beach Australia whilst swimming two months before the LA Olympic Games . Coe had been in hospital with a rare blood disorder known as Toxo Plasmosis in the winter of ‘83, it was doubted he would make the Olympics in ‘84 to defend his 1500 title from ‘80, a gold medal that Ovett was supposed to win having won over a 100 straight 1500 meter races leading up to the ‘80 games~ Coe in ‘80 was the dominant 800 meter runner and was supposed to win the gold~ he didn’t~Ovett won it and now in the twilight of their careers the middle distance gladiators met for the final time and the final seconds of this video are bone chilling as one lay on the track being led off on a stretcher in front of 100,000 in the stadium and billions on television around the world and the other doing a victory lap draped in his country’s flag, the contrast in emotions and the antithesis of their individual outcomes of this epic event is so plainly evident right there in front of you, nerves and emotions exposed for all to see….Neither runner would ever race at this level again but behind them they left a legacy that we can interpret and follow, they indeed inspired me to 'Train in the Image of an Olympian'
Walk in peace and let the good times roll !
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