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Sports Then and Now



Famous Runners with Flat Feet 3

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 →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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