Facts, Not Fiction

 

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    #1
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    Happy birthday today (Thursday) to an Olympic champion who was born on a Thursday 62 years ago today.

    This champion won Olympic gold on a Sunday in the same country in which this athlete was born.

    Our birthday athlete did not win Olympic gold in the hurdles.

    Some of you actually saw our birthday athlete win Olympic gold in person.

    Who is this champion?
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    #2
    The clues point to an American winning in LA. The Sunday clue led me to think of the events on the final day, but in the Olympics, the only thing on the final day is the marathon. Then I put 2+2 together and realized it was probably Joan Benoit.

    And no, I didn't actually see her win the gold. When she won the gold, I was at the airport on my way home--had to get back to work on Monday.
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    #3
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    Happy birthday today to Joan Benoit Samuelson (62). Joan won the first ever Olympic women's marathon. She even set an Olympic record.

    That was quite a marathon to see in person. Most people didn't get to see the whole race in person since the run started in Santa Monica and finished at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

    This August (5) will mark the 35th anniversary of Joan's victory in Los Angeles.

    Very good, tandfman.
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    #4
    Rats. Beat me to it.

    Sitting in the stands, we watched the race on the big screen, much as if we had been at home. Late in the run we could see the helicopters above the Coliseum rim, and the event became much more real. As Benoit went into the tunnel (which is longer than most of the fans realized), all eyes shifted from the screen to the entrance to the track, and the crowd waited ...

    and waited ...

    and waited ...

    and finally she arrived. I think the cheers were in large part due to a release of tension that built up during her absence.

    Her run remains one of my favorite moments in T&F.
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    #5
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    Mine, too. It was so great to see women allowed to run the marathon at the Olympic Games.
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    #6
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    Back in my quasi-competitive age group-competition road running days, I often ran the last 100 yards so, imagining myself, instead of Joanie, entering the Coliseum to the the cheers of thousands.
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