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Athletes Who Shaped Running As A Sport

The legend tells and the archives of Greek Antiquity show that the Olympic Games were founded by Heracles, the son of Zeus. Written records show that the first match took place around 776 BC where Coroebus, a cook from Elis, won the 192 meter barefoot running competition, making him the winner of the sole event. Nowadays, almost in all organized game competitions such as SEA Games, Olympics, school intramurals and other locally organized festivities, running has always been present to complete the list of sporting events.

These days, running and jogging are such popular sporting events that a number of athletes are vying for fame, fortune, and title. Several people have helped shape the history of running as a sport. England’s Roger Bannister, the first to run a mile in less than four minutes, set the first record on May 6, 1954 at Iffley Road Track in Oxford and in the presence of around 3,000 spectators. Being the first recipient of Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1955 and 1954 Sportsman of the Year and a distinguished neurologist highly recognized for his outstanding efforts and major contribution to the field of academic medicine called autonomic chess, till now he continues to inspire runners. Bannister’s feat, however, will never be surpassed by any other athlete as Bannister will always hold the record of being “first” and whoever comes next will only be called second.

Another figure who contributed to the colorful history of running as a sport was American James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens who won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. where he left the 110,000 spectators and athletes in Berlin amazed and amazed by winning a medal each in the 100 and 200 meters, the long jump and as a member of the relay team. He was also the first African-American to receive sponsorship from the sports shoe company Adidas, founded by Adi Dassler. Despite the honor and fame he brought to America, he received no recognition or honor from President Roosevelt or his successor, President Truman. It wasn’t until the days of President Eisenhower that he was named a sports ambassador in 1955. Like Bannister, Owens also held the record for “first” in his own way.

Staying on the tracks doesn’t have to lead to endless, grueling training, as you can race without having to compete for titles, fame and fortune. You too can take inspiration from Bannister and Owens without necessarily participating in competitions because running can be a tool to improve physical condition and at the same time an avenue to develop interpersonal relationships.

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