Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now


Archive for the ‘Track & Field’


The Most Common Track and Field Injuries 0

Posted on September 23, 2020 by Brooke Chaplan

No matter what steps an athlete takes to remain strong and healthy, they are probably going to experience at least a few injuries over the years. Luckily, many of the most common injuries won’t cause permanent damage as long as the athlete catches the early warning signs.

Shin Splints

Very few injuries are as common as shin splints, and practically every active individual will deal with this condition at some point. Shin splints can be caused by a myriad of issues, and that includes poor gait mechanics, flat feet, improper footwear, and tight muscles. Once the pain has subsided and your legs have healed, you will need to figure out exactly what is causing your shin splints if you want to avoid that discomfort in the future.

Read the rest of this entry →

Famous Runners with Flat Feet 2

Posted on September 12, 2018 by Joe Fleming

Alan Webb

Alan Webb

Nobody would ever argue that their flat feet offered any physical advantage to their fitness regime. Instead, the postural deformity of fallen arches is known to cause an array of uncomfortable complications, including Achilles tendonitis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, or shin splints.

However, in modern times, flat feet are no longer considered to be the immovable obstacles that they once were, and these troubles are hardly enough to prevent ambitious runners from reaching their full potential. In fact, many of the world’s greatest runners who were seemingly cursed by flat feet still managed to find a way to move faster than anyone else. To celebrate these triumphs, here is a list of three highly impressive flat-footed athletes, who will hopefully motivate you to keep your own arches marching.

Saïd Aouita

Considered one of the first famous Arab sportspeople, Moroccan born Saïd Aouita boasts an extensive list of achievements which left his competitors in the dust. His passion was firmly fixed to the track and field events, and he left his permanent mark on that scene when he won the 5,000 meters at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Saïd’s impressive résumé doesn’t end there either, as he’s set many world records too, including the fastest time for the 1,500 meters (at 3:29.46), 2,000 meters (at 4:50.80), 3,000 meters (at 7:29.45), and twice for the 5,000 meters (at 13:00.40 and 12:58.39). What’s more, these are only a small portion of the man’s complete accomplishments.

Despite attaining such monumental successes, Saïd Aouita admits that his fallen arches have been an issue during his entire career. ”My only problem is that I have flat feet, which promotes tendinitis,” he admitted to French newspaper L’Equipe. Since then, Aouita has credited his special shoes for providing the additional support he needs, which is the same solution that many similar runners have discovered for themselves. Supplementing fallen arches with an orthotic insole can help balance out the pressure on your feet and better support the adjoining ligaments and tendons.

Alan Webb

In 2007, American track and field athlete Alan Webb broke the U.S. Record for the fastest mile time ever, clocking in at 3:46.91. Said record still remains unbeaten to this very day. Alan is also known for his representation of the United States during the 2004 Summer Olympics where he ran the 1,500-meter race. Due to such an impressive biography, it’s no surprise to anyone that Nike hired him to represent their brand from 2002 – 2013. Read the rest of this entry →

The History of Famous Marathon Runners 9

Posted on October 28, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse

Jim Peters set the world marathon record four times between 1952 and 1954.

Jim Peters set the world marathon record four times between 1952 and 1954.

The first modern marathons were held at the 1896 Summer Olympics, and were won by two Greek runners – Kharilaos Vasilakos and Ioannis Lavrentis. In the ten years that followed, their times of 3:18:00 and 3:11:27 (respectively) would be beaten by runners from Britain, Japan, and America – the last of which was run by Johnny Hayes at the 1908 Summer Olympics in what is considered to be the first marathon over a now official distance of 42.195 km.

Top Runners from Around the World
From 1908 onwards, the field of marathon running began to be dominated by an elite set of countries who regularly produced high performing marathon standard athletes.

In the men’s races, Sweden, Japan, American and the UK were regular contenders for the top spot, with many of their runners continuing to break records. A roster of familiar faces began to creep in: Son Kitei of Japan, Jim Peters of the UK (who broke the world record four times between 1952 and 1954), and Derek Clayton of Australia, who broke his first record in 1967 and followed up with an encore in 1969. It wasn’t until 2002, however, that the title of ‘World’s Best’ was introduced and presented for the very first time to American runner Khalid Khannouchi for his time of 2:05:37.8. Read the rest of this entry →

Discus Legend Mac Wilkins: 3 Throws, 3 World Records on May 1, 1976 1

Posted on April 13, 2013 by Rojo Grande

(photo: sporting-heroes.net)

(photo: sporting-heroes.net)

 

I once rubbed elbows with Hercules.

It was at the 1976 Olympic Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. My wife and I were crossing a grass practice field during a break in the action. From a distance, our attention was drawn to a tall, dominant figure striding in our direction.

With each approaching step, the figure took on the glowing countenance of someone special—almost beyond human. Tanned, handsome and muscular, he was clothed only in the thin garments of competition—obviously an elite athlete in peak condition.

As an athlete myself, I had been around a few hard bodies, but I had never seen such a physical specimen as this. He whisked right by us, his long hair and mustache accentuating the aura of a Greek god. We were speechless, mouths agape.

When we caught our breath, the dawning of reality hit us both at once: That was Mac Wilkins!

That simple brush with greatness gave us a focal point for the summer. Wilkins became our hero (and my wife’s not-so-secret crush). Via television and newspapers, we followed his exploits right through his Olympic record and gold medal in the discus at the ’76 Montreal Games.

And though that Olympic masterpiece will no doubt be considered the high point of Wilkins’ incredible 23-year career, it may have been eclipsed (in terms of sheer accomplishment) at a relatively insignificant track meet in the Bay Area of California in early May of that year. Read the rest of this entry →

Legendary Marathoner Rick Hoyt Inspires The World One Letter At A Time 2

Posted on December 11, 2012 by Todd Civin

Legendary marathoner and triathlete Rick Hoyt poses with statue of Team Hoyt that was unveiled at the 2012 Mayors Reception before the 2012 Boston Marathon. A life size version of the statue will be erected in Hopkinton MA, the start of the famous Boston Marathon.

Rarely in life do we have the opportunity to look back and appreciate the fact that we may have actually achieved something that really counts. Something that makes a difference not only to ourselves but perhaps has an impact on everyone who touches it. A creation that seems to have such potential impact that it becomes impossible to comprehend that it came from us alone and wasn’t also sprinkled with a heavy handed dose of divine intervention.

I’m reminded of the story called Starfish that I heard some years ago. It is the story of a young girl who was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean.

People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean.

Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one, didn’t I?” The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said.

Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

The story which was adapted from the Star Thrower by Loren C. Eiseley, describes precisely how I feel after experiencing the fervor and enthusiasm that has surrounded the launch of my new book, entitled One Letter at a Time by Rick Hoyt with Todd Civin.

One Letter at a Time is the life long story of famed marathoner and triathlete, Rick Hoyt, who together with his equally famous father, Dick Hoyt, makes up the world-renowned duo known as Team Hoyt.

Read the rest of this entry →

When Rafer Johnson Broke the Decathlon World Record—After Only 9 Events 1

Posted on October 12, 2012 by Rojo Grande

Many who witnessed Ashton Eaton’s incredibly moving decathlon world record at the 2012 Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon swear they will never see another sporting performance so inspiring.

I would never attempt to minimize such sentiments, as it truly was one of the signature moments in all of track and field.

Yet 52 years earlier, decathlete Rafer Johnson drew upon the same Hayward Field magic to lay down an earlier version of one of the sport’s most grueling accomplishments.

Let’s take a look back at another episode in the amazing legacy of Hayward Field.

The U.S./USSR Cold War rivalry of the mid-20th century was typified by the decathlon’s back-and-forth world-record duel between the American, Rafer Johnson, and then-current record-holder (8,357 points) Vasili Kuznetsov of the Soviet Union.

The record, in fact, had alternated between the two athletes four times since 1955.

And so it was, at the 1960 Amateur Athletic Union’s decathlon championships in Eugene, Johnson’s patriotic intent was as much to break Kuznetsov’s record as it was to secure a berth on the 1960 Rome Olympics team. 

In an uncanny subplot, Johnson’s UCLA teammate and good friend, C.K. Yang of Formosa (Taiwan), stood as a potential roadblock to the American’s quest. He was, after all, the defending collegiate national champion and a legitimate contender for the record in his own right. 

Johnson, UCLA coach Drake, and Yang

Rafer was a powerfully built hybrid of speed and strength, evidenced by his expertise in the sprints and throwing events. The three-time AAU champion was the silver medalist at the 1956 Melbourne Games but was on the comeback trail after an automobile accident had derailed his entire 1959 season.

Yang was a chiseled, wiry athlete who excelled in the hurdles, jumps and mid-distance races. As a foreign citizen, he was not eligible for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, but was competing as a UCLA representative and of course, was himself cognizant of Kuznetsov’s record. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Current Poll

    Who Will Be the NFL MVP?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top