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What would Steve Prefonaine have acomplished if he had lived

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  • #16
    Pre ran a 12:51.4 3 mile at the Hayward Restoration meet on 06.08.1974.

    IMO, if this was a 5000, he probably would have been under 13:20.

    One of the better opportunities at 5000 was on 06.27.1973, when Puttemans ran 13:19.6 and Pre was second in 13:22.4.

    Perhaps more on Brian's post later...

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    • #17
      Would Prefontaine have been around in 1976? From historical records (dind't hear of him until 1984), I understood him to have been fighting with the AAU for reasons understood. Would they have ultimately sanctioned him from any and all competition, up to - and including - the Olympics? The USOC came about two years following the Montreal Games, so which governing body ultimately was responsible for deciding which athletes qualified and who didn't?

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      • #18
        I think he would have won double gold in Montreal, then the same again in Moscow (despite the US boycott). He would have retired for a bit to start his political career, but then emerge again in LA to introduce a new phrase in the sports world, to 'three-peat', again winning double gold and lapping the field in both events with his barrier breaking WRs of 11:59.85 and 25:57.62.

        He would then have gone on to become the first black president of the United States (despite being white).

        That is how special he was.


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        • #19
          Pre would have run 27:25 IMO.
          phsstt!

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          • #20
            I've said before that I think he would have medaled in 1976. After the boycott, I think he would have tried to run the marathon in 1984 near the end of his competitive career. It's interesting to think about how that might have affected Salazar.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Halfmiler2
              I've said before that I think he would have medaled in 1976. After the boycott, I think he would have tried to run the marathon in 1984 near the end of his competitive career. It's interesting to think about how that might have affected Salazar.
              I never had the sense that he'd consider the marathon. To my knowledge, he never ran a single road race, ever--did he?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by kuha
                Originally posted by Halfmiler2
                I've said before that I think he would have medaled in 1976. After the boycott, I think he would have tried to run the marathon in 1984 near the end of his competitive career. It's interesting to think about how that might have affected Salazar.
                I never had the sense that he'd consider the marathon. To my knowledge, he never ran a single road race, ever--did he?
                I saw him run 6 miles around a golf course a couple of times. :P
                phsstt!

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                • #23
                  What would Prefontaine have accomplished if he had lived

                  I just don't see him doing a marathon. Contemporaries have said he "maxed out" at about 12 miles in training. Didn't seem to really enjoy long runs.

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                  • #24
                    The last time I ever talked to Pre was in San Diego in February of '75, just a couple of months before he died. Based on our conversation that night, I can fashion a not-too-far-fetched scenario whereby he would be out of running by '76, let alone '80.

                    He had run well that night, as I recall (like winning an 8:20s 2-mile), but he was really animated about this new thing he was deeply involved in; shoe promotion. I noted that I had seen an NBA team wearing them, and wasn't aware that they had progressed beyond being a burgeoning running-shoe concern. He was apparently getting involved in a big way and it sounded as if he expected huge bucks to start rolling in. The kind of thing that can make one forget running quickly. It seemed to me at the time that this venture was as much or more important to him than his running.

                    Whatever happened to those Nike guys anyway?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by gh
                      The last time I ever talked to Pre was in San Diego in February of '75, just a couple of months before he died. Based on our conversation that night, I can fashion a not-too-far-fetched scenario whereby he would be out of running by '76, let alone '80.

                      He had run well that night, as I recall (like winning an 8:20s 2-mile), but he was really animated about this new thing he was deeply involved in; shoe promotion. I noted that I had seen an NBA team wearing them, and wasn't aware that they had progressed beyond being a burgeoning running-shoe concern. He was apparently getting involved in a big way and it sounded as if he expected huge bucks to start rolling in. The kind of thing that can make one forget running quickly. It seemed to me at the time that this venture was as much or more important to him than his running.

                      Whatever happened to those Nike guys anyway?
                      Thanx GH!, to have seen Pre cash in would have been such great poetic justice.
                      phsstt!

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                      • #26
                        Prefontaine, sipping a nice summer ale whilst watching the 1980 Olympics and wearing a kimono (Nike did very well work with Tiger in the early days): "Those are some running fools." Could have been Nike's first commercial for shoes called The Rebels.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by EPelle
                          Would Prefontaine have been around in 1976? From historical records (dind't hear of him until 1984), I understood him to have been fighting with the AAU for reasons understood. Would they have ultimately sanctioned him from any and all competition, up to - and including - the Olympics? The USOC came about two years following the Montreal Games, so which governing body ultimately was responsible for deciding which athletes qualified and who didn't?
                          Pre's "struggles"with the AAU have been horridly overblown in the years since his passing. Made for good stuff in his biopics, but, FWIW, note that T&FN never even mentioned it at the time. There was nothing he could be sanctioned for. He was bitching about travel permits, etc., and he was far from the only one. There was a large meeting of athletes at the AAU meet in Eugene that year to go over the same ground. Hurdler Gary Power was the agent provocateur as I recall.

                          Where you say USOC came two years after Montréal I assume you mean TAC (great acronym, but The Athletics Congress was a ludicrous name), in '79.

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                          • #28
                            I understood that, in 1974, the AAU would not permit US track athletes an opportunity to travel between 11-22 june and/or 1-6 july to keep them fresh for the AAU meet and then the USSR-USA dual. Prefontaine basically said to hell with the AAU meet and that he would “compete all through the moratorium, and if they want to take me to court that’s fine with me... The AAU doesn’t care about the athletes; why should I care about them?”

                            Could the AAU have sanctioned him and kept him from competing in its meet in 1976? Was the AAU meet the Olympic qualifying meet?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by gh
                              The last time I ever talked to Pre was in San Diego in February of '75, just a couple of months before he died. Based on our conversation that night, I can fashion a not-too-far-fetched scenario whereby he would be out of running by '76, let alone '80.

                              He had run well that night, as I recall (like winning an 8:20s 2-mile), but he was really animated about this new thing he was deeply involved in; shoe promotion. I noted that I had seen an NBA team wearing them, and wasn't aware that they had progressed beyond being a burgeoning running-shoe concern. He was apparently getting involved in a big way and it sounded as if he expected huge bucks to start rolling in. The kind of thing that can make one forget running quickly. It seemed to me at the time that this venture was as much or more important to him than his running.

                              Whatever happened to those Nike guys anyway?
                              Good story. I remember a contemporary comment by Jon Anderson mentioning that Pre really didn't like long, 15 miles, runs all that much. I suspect that if Pre had won at Munich he might not have even bothered with Montreal.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by EPelle
                                Could the AAU have sanctioned him and kept him from competing in its meet in 1976? Was the AAU meet the Olympic qualifying meet?
                                There were no qualifying meets in 1976. You just had to meet a qualifying standard in order to get into the Trials, and the Trials were separate from the AAU National Championships. 1968 was the last year when the AAU meet was a qualifying meet for the Trials.

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