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Roger Bannister

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  • Roger Bannister

    May 6, 2004 will be the 50th anniversary of Bannister's first sub four minute mile.
    I was lucky enough to have attended a banquet marking the 40th anniversary, and it was a tremendous occasion attended by almost every living world record holder in the mile run, plus people like Ron Clarke, Ron Delaney, Kip Keino, and others.
    If possible, I'd like to attend the 50th anniversary banquet. Do any you know anyone to contact regarding reservations?

  • #2
    Re: Roger Bannister

    I was there, too, in 1994 and it was a remarkable evening. When I was in London a couple weeks ago, I asked Peter Matthews specifically whether there would be a 50th anniversary banquet and he told me "no," that Bannister was not interested in a public event. If anyone would know, it would be Matthews, but I sure hope that this decision will be rethought.

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    • #3
      Re: Roger Bannister

      <I was there, too, in 1994 and it was a remarkable evening. >

      I recall reading in Sports Illustrated, of the living (one-time) world record holders, Haegg and Ovett did not attend. Also that this was not taken too well by some of the others, especially re Ovett, who lived quite close by. Any truth to these "stories"?

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      • #4
        Re: Roger Bannister

        That's true. Haegg was not there because of ill health (although, thankfully, he's still living). Ovett skipped because of some previous engagement, but his non-appearance was taken as a distinct snub of the whole event. It was a shame he wasn't there, as he was the only able-bodied former WR holder missing. It was was a genuinely magical evening, with everyone from Sydney Wooderson to Morceli gathered together, not to mention the other folks in the audience (Ron Clarke, etc.). It was Valhalla, pure and simple.

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        • #5
          Re: Roger Bannister

          Thanks for the replies. I also hope that the decision not to have a public banquet will be reconsidered.
          Whoever did the arrangements for the last one should be congratulated for having done a terrific job. Each of the record breakers was introduced with a video clip of either his world record race or perhaps of his most famous race, and joined Bannister on the stage. Bannister gave a very entertaining talk after the dinner, and before and during dinner one could mingle with these legendary athletes, and chat about their experiences. An absolutely wonderful evening!

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          • #6
            Re: Roger Bannister

            There was a similar gathering in 1994 during the Commonwealth Games at Victoria, B.C. (a visual pleasure of a meet -- in an attractive campus stadium within a city of breathtaking loveliness.)

            Having watched Bannister vs. Landy in the 1954 Empire Games (at Vancouver, B.C.) I felt nostalgia, and age, when those two mile warriors returned to British Columbia as historical figures 40 years after their "race of the century."

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            • #7
              Re: Roger Bannister

              Here's a serious proposal: On the 50th anniversary of Don Bowden's first US sub-4:00 mile, the USATF should have a fancy banquet dinner to honor ALL the living American record holders AND national titlists in the event. Other than the fact that (sadly) few today have a clue who Don Bowden is/was, it could present a great opportunity to celebrate the history of the sport in America. (Or maybe there's a better milestone to aim for...)

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              • #8
                Re: Roger Bannister

                Who, did you say again? Never heard of the fellow.

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                • #9
                  Re: Roger Bannister

                  Thanks for your support...well, there you have the problem in a nutshell. Actually, the more I think about this, the more it might make sense to have this in May 04, to key off Bannister's achievement, but to still honor all the great living American milers/1500 guys. However, I might be the only one who'd go...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Roger Bannister

                    I'd go. But first you have to remind me who Bannister was.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Roger Bannister

                      You need to cut your amnesia prescription in half. Ignorance is bliss, I know, but really...

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                      • #12
                        Re: Roger Bannister

                        Trivia Q: Bannister and Landy were the last milers to do WHAT....?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Roger Bannister

                          ...not make a dime from athletics?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Roger Bannister

                            kuha1:
                            <On the 50th anniversary of Don Bowden's first US sub-4:00 mile, the USATF should have a fancy banquet dinner to honor ALL the living American record holders AND national titlists in the event.>

                            Actually all kidding aside......I'd go to this. Would be nice to have Bannister, El G., Ngeny and the new world talent there also. Maybe T & F News would be a more appropriate emcee with Masback as a guest speaker.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Roger Bannister

                              I had read (and seen Peter Snell on tape also say the same) that Jim Ryun received just about the loudest applause next to Bannister at the gathering. Is that true? Was it because of his obvious potential, natural ability, etc.? Anyone who was there know why?

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