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Roger Bannister Quotes
Roger Bannister Quotes
"Your spikes, which were really quite long then, would catch the material of the track and your shoe would get heavier. I was simply filing them down and rubbing some graphite on the spikes. I thought I would run more effectively." "You get very tired, and there was a certain amount of pain and you slow up. Your legs are so tired that you are in fact slowing. If you don't keep running, keep your blood circulating, the muscles stop pumping the blood back and you get dizzy." "When I was about to break a world record and become well known, my mother used to say that for her the important thing was for me to become a doctor-a career which had not been possible in her generation and in her society. Sport was something to be set aside." "Very often athletes or other really driven young people don't take that opportunity to enjoy the broader perspective." "The reason sport is attractive to many of the general public is that it's filled with reversals. What you think may happen doesn't happen. A champion is beaten, an unknown becomes a champion." "The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win." "The Athletic Association competed against the University. So there was an event. You cannot break world records unless it is an established event, and you have three timekeepers, and the whole thing is organized." "Oxford was an intriguing place. You had a whole range of talents. Kenneth Tynan was acting. There were politicians like Rhys Morgan, and others who were debating." "Oxford has a series of 25 different colleges, and in the afternoons each college would have teams for every sport and they would compete in inter-college for cups and prizes." "Our house was bombed, and the roof fell in. We were sitting under the stairs of the basement, and we were quite safe, but it brought home the realization. In two nights 400 people were killed in small town." "Our concept of a family holiday was going to a guest house in the Lake district or Wales where walking was part of the holiday." "My record was broken by an Australian, John Landy. Then John Landy and I had to compete in what was then called the Empire Games. I defeated him. I had another European race and then retired and never ran again competitively." "My introduction to track racing was through the background of cross country running, which is not a sport perhaps as popular in America as it is in England." "My family actually lived in the same village for about 400 years. They had great stability until the last century. People lived and intermarried in small villages." "My concentration was really on getting to university and becoming a doctor. My parents let me know that school marks were important. Achievement was something which came by hard work." "My athleticism was really the core to social acceptance, because in those days the overwhelming number of students came from more of a public school background than I did." "Mothers, unless they were very poor, didn't work. Both of my parents had to leave education. My mother had to work in a cotton mill until 18 or 19, when she took some training in domestic science." "May is a very early time in the year and the weather is usually bad. You cannot run a fast mile race if there is a strong wind, because it makes your running uneven." "Life was very simple. My parents had come from the North of England, which is a fairly rugged, bleak, hard-working part of England, and so there was not the expectation of luxury." "It's a question of spreading the available energy, aerobic and anaerobic, evenly over four minutes. If you run one part too fast, you pay a price. If you run another part more slowly your overall time is slower." "It was fortunate for me that the pathway of record breaking, which continues in all aspects of athletics, had just reached this magical critical four minutes: four laps of one minute each, on a quarter-mile track." "It had always been a British preoccupation to hold this mile record." "If there was the opportunity to climb a mountain, or to go ballooning, or some adventurous activity, I would always be keen to do it. I loved the countryside." "I've always been very impatient. At age 10 I frankly found life boring, and I can remember age 9 having the awful thought, as it seems now looking back on it, A war! That should liven things up a bit!" "I was playing rugby and the other games English school children do, and there was an event in which races were run, and I won these by a considerable margin." "I was involved in music, acting, and some running, but my firm wish was to become a doctor. That was the formative age when I had decided on the pattern of my career." "I was always a great bundle of energy. As a child, instead of walking, I would run. And so running, which is a pain to a lot of people, was always a pleasure to me because it was so easy." "I wanted to be a neurologist. That seemed to be the most difficult, most intriguing, and the most important aspect of medicine, which had links with psychology, aggression, behavior, and human affairs." "I think that is a universal adolescent feeling, trying to find your place. The adolescent who is perfectly adjusted to his environment, I've yet to meet." "I suppose Nobel laureates and Madame Curie and Pasteur were role models, but I also had athletic ambitions. The role model for my athletic ambitions was Sidney Wooderson, who had held the world record for the mile just before the war." "I raced supremely well. I felt I was as well fitted to do it as I had ever been, and as perhaps I might ever be. I went climbing three weeks before, because I was feeling fed up with running." "I lived on the top of one hill and the school was at the top of another hill. Nobody ever went to school by car-we didn't have any cars during the war. So that to and from school was itself a training." "I had set my mind on winning the 1,500 meters gold medal. It all came disastrously wrong when I came fourth instead of winning. My very slender training let me down." "I found longer races boring. I found the mile just perfect." "I enjoy singing, and the instruments which truly move me are the horn, the trumpet and the cello." "I did lose my sight for a bit because I was crowded in. Everybody rushed on to the track. Then a couple of minutes later the announcement came." "I did a bit of rowing, but I didn't have a real skill in ball games. I wasadequate enough to be in some school teams, but running was really quite a separate skill." "I couldn't disappoint people. I did not want to fail and exhaust myself, because I was the kind of runner who trained so little that I couldn't race again within another 10 days." "I came from such a simple origin, without any great privilege, and I would say I also wanted to make a mark. It wasn't until I was about 15 that I appeared in a race." "Athletics is a luxury." "The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful will win." "The mile has all the elements of drama."