Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Ironmen – Elite and Everyday 1

Posted on August 08, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse
Chrissie Wellington has developed into a record-setting triathlete.

Chrissie Wellington has developed into a record-setting triathlete.

In the past, feats including marathon and triathlon were accolades only a few could boast. Only the elite were understood to have the natural capability and mental strength for such challenges. Today, this notion is all but eroded. Today, ‘ordinary’ athletes train around family and professional commitments to not only complete, but to race in prestigious events. Regular people have a thirst for ambition and continue to push personal and industry boundaries.

The Ironman Triathlon, for example, is a pursuit that is growing in availability, and popularity, against all odds. The 2.4-mile swim, followed by 112-mile bike ride culminating in a marathon distance run is a daunting prospect for even the fittest of athletes.  In its infancy, the event wasn’t wholly competitive, more a quest for survival. The achievement was simply to finish within the stated time. It was the intense rivalry between Dave Scott and Mark Allen that catapulted the legendary Kona Ironman from test to race, in 1989.

Another personality making Ironman history is world- champion, Chrissie Wellington, who is the only triathlete- male or female- to have won the Ironman TriathlonWorld Championship less than a year after turning professional. Formerly a marathon runner with little background in endurance, Chrissie Welllington went on too lower the world record every time she raced the triathlon Challenge Roth in Germany. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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