Sir Roger Bannister on the Olympics and Oxford’s Runners
By James M. Clash, The Huffington Post
Watching opening ceremonies for the London Olympics, I was delighted to see the great Sir Roger Bannister present. Bannister was an Olympian in 1952, but he didn't win the gold you might expect from the first man to run a 4 minute Mile. In fact, he's pretty sure his Olympic-sized disappointment was the reason he pursued the supposedly impossible mark.
"I failed, came in fourth in the 1,500 meters," Bannister told me. "Very disappointed is an understatement. But if I had gotten a gold medal, I probably would have retired and never pursued the 4 minute Mile."
It only took him two years.
Bannister, now 83, disappeared from track shortly after his record run. Upon graduating from medical school at Oxford, he devoted his life to medicine, initially in private practice as a neurologist and later as a researcher. A near-fatal car accident in 1975 kept Bannister from running again, but didn't leave him bitter.
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