September 10, 2002 |
Frank Shorter won a gold medal at the Munich Olympics. The rest of the U.S. took it from there. In becoming the first American to win the Olympic marathon since 1908, Shorter sparked a fitness craze that spawned a stream of successful U.S. marathon runners. Shorter's victory in 1972 by nearly 2 1/2 minutes led to people of all professions pounding the pavement at 6 a.m., jogging in small packs or individually on the sides of city streets and rural roads.
March 7, 1988 |
When they cross the finish line these days, it is more often in the glow of nostalgia than the fire of competition. Frank Shorter, No. 72, didn't he single-footedly start the marathoning boom with his 1972 gold medal in Munich? And didn't Bill Rodgers, No. 14, come to stand for those now-fashionable institutions of civic pride, winning the Boston and New York marathons four times each? Of course, that was then, this is now, and stand aside, you legends, for another Mexican.
March 4, 1994 |
Frank Shorter was there when it began, so perhaps it was fitting that he was there when it ended. It was 1984. A late August day in the Coliseum. The finish of both the Olympic Marathon and an era. Shorter was in street clothes, in the infield, watching and hoping for an American to carry the flame he had lit a decade earlier. And what a fire that had been. Shorter's victory in the 1972 Olympic Marathon did for marathoning what Madonna did for blondes.
September 14, 1985
Frank Shorter, 41, the American whose victory in the 1972 Olympic marathon is credited with sparking the running boom in the United States, entered the New York City Marathon Oct. 27.
May 6, 1985 |
Pre lives. Nowhere is the legacy of Steve Prefontaine more acute than in the Pacific Northwest, where in the early 1970s he captured the hearts and minds of his fellow citizens as readily as he did headlines and first-place finishes. In his native Coos Bay, they've built a memorial to him and named streets after him.