forgotten white athletes?

Discussion in 'Track & Field' started by mastermulti, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. mastermulti

    mastermulti Mentor

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    just to introduce something new....
    I thought bios of some forgotten "white athletes" might be interesting.

    Here's one on one of my favourites,Darren Clark, who ran fourth in two Olympic 400 finals and went sub 45 x 11 times between the years 1983 and 1990.

    Enjoy

    Darren


    Unfortunately he's had difficulties since he lost his "ELITE ATHLETE" status. I'd love to meet up with him for his encouragement some day

    Darren nowEdited by: mastermulti
     
  2. albinosprint

    albinosprint Mentor

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    good stuff!
     
  3. StarWars

    StarWars Mentor

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    Awesome find! So many forgotten white athletes...Borzov, Wells, Mennea, and Nagel are too easily forgotten. Only Shirvo is remembered. The drug cheats overshadow them.
     
  4. Vindicator

    Vindicator Newbie

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    I remember Darren Clark...I remember his valiant efforts in the two Olympics. Thanks for mentioning someone who undoubtedly was a positive example, role model and inspiration for today's great white 400 meter runners.
     
  5. mastermulti

    mastermulti Mentor

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    and this week's instalment is Raelene Boyle. Renate Stetcher of East Germany robbed her of both sprint golds in Munich 1972

    Raelene

    100mEdited by: mastermulti
     
  6. speedster

    speedster Mentor

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    Here are some American 100/200 sprinters not to be forgotten from the 30's to the 70's.

    Frank Wykoff
    George Simpson
    Robert Packard
    Sam Stoller
    Perrin Walker
    Clyde Jeffrey
    Hal Davis
    Payton Jordan
    Jack Weiershauser
    Mel Patton
    Donald Campbell
    Donald Anderson
    Charles Parker
    Chuck Peters
    Lindy Remigino
    Dean Smith
    Jim Gathers
    Thane Baker
    Charles Thomas
    Bobby Morrow
    Dave Sime
    John Haines
    Dick Blair
    Bill Woodhouse
    Tom Jones
    Earl Horner
    Gerry Ashworth
    Darel Newman
    Fred Kuller
    Larry Questad
    Jerry Bright
    Ben Vaughn
    Mark Lutz
     
  7. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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    Great list speedster. I have a question for you. Do you know where there are any videos of Kevin Little racing? I haven't seen any in years. Thanks in advance.
     
  8. freedom1

    freedom1 Mentor

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    Various info on Questad

    No. 23 -- Olympic Trials Men's 200 - South Lake Tahoe 1968: John Carlos and Tommie Smith trained together and raced together, and the two stood atop the world. At the final Olympic Trials, when they lined up for their 200 showdown, silence ruled. Until Larry Questad "let out a yelp" when he saw an ant near his hand.

    A few minutes later, ant relocated, the race started. Carlos ran the best turn and led Questad and Jerry Bright by two yards as they entered the straightaway. Smith, running in lane one, lagged behind until the final 40 meters. He exploded toward the finish, but he could not overtake Carlos, who hit the line in a world-record 19.7. Smith grabbed second in 20.0, with Questad third in 20.1. Their electronic times were 19.92, 20.18, and 20.28.

    Carlos' performance would be denied official recognition because he (as well as Smith) had worn 68-pin brush spikes, illegal under IAAF rules. A few months later at the Olympics, Smith would upend his friend in another great race, but his accomplishment would be overshadowed by the protest the two made on the victory stand in Mexico City.

    Forty years later, Montana sprinter reflects on '68 Olympics
    By Chad Dundas - 08/06/2008

    It has been described as one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

    The vision of U.S. Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos â€" shoeless in their dark blue tracksuits on the medal podium in Mexico City, heads bowed and fists raised in protest and solidarity â€" may be the most recognizable political gesture in the history of sport.

    At the time it was also one of the most controversial.

    Smith set a world record in capturing gold in the 200 meter while Carlos took the bronze, but their actions on the stand during the national anthem prompted the International Olympic Committee to suspend them from the U.S. team and ban them from the Olympic Village.

    As years passed Smith and Carlos have been both reviled and revered, ostracized and lionized for the protest.

    The photographs are famous. A 20-foot high statue of the pair now adorns the campus of San Jose State University, their alma mater. This year, Smith and Carlos were even the recipients of the Arthur Ashe Award for courage at ESPN's normally bland, corporate ESPYs Awards.

    But even 40 years later, few have seen that moment in history from Larry Questad's point of view.

    Questad was front and center that night in October of 1968 in the hot and dusty, 84,000-seat Olympic Stadium on campus at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Latin America's largest and most prestigious university.

    A long way from his hometown of Livingston, Mont., Questad had been the third fastest American in that morning's 200-meter final. He'd finished a disappointing sixth overall and was still stinging from it when the evening medal ceremony kicked off.

    He knew nothing of Smith and Carlos' protest prior to when they emerged from the tunnel into the stadium. He says he was shocked.

    Throughout the decades, he says he's equally surprised to see how the perception of that night has changed and what it's done â€" both good and bad â€" to the image of Smith and Carlos.

    One of the oddest things about history is that it never seems right to the people who were there. As if the simple acts of recording and remembering somehow distort the actual events as â€" maybe out of necessity â€" the human mind struggles to force the unpredictable flow of life into a linear timeline belying cause and effect.

    Questad knows Smith and Carlos not as the symbols of change they're often purported to be, nor as heroes or villains. He says he knows them as men. As friends, teammates and great runners. And that's the way he wants to remember them.

    History, though, seems to keep getting in the way.

    "I compare it to the game you used to play when you were a kid,"Â￾ Questad says. "You know, where you sit in a circle and whisper in each other's ears and by time it gets to the other side of the circle it doesn't look anything like what really happened? That whole thing is an irritant to me. The way everybody remembers it now, it really isn't the way it happened."Â￾ Livingston in the late 1950s was the kind of small town where you tried a little bit of everything.

    Questad was no different, getting involved at an early age with every sport he could get his hands on.

    "Every fall it was football and in the winter it was basketball and in the spring it was track and then (American) Legion baseball in the summer,"Â￾ Questad says. "That's about all there was to do."Â￾ It was while playing running back for the Park High School Rangers that a coach first talked Questad into coming out for track. At 6-foot-2 and near 200 pounds, he was big for a sprinter and describes himself as a "slow starter, but a fast runner."Â￾ Fast is right. Pretty soon the underclassman was running against, and beating, juniors and seniors. He says he never looked back.

    Questad became a three-time state champion in the 100-yard and 200-yard dashes as well as a two-time champ in the 180-yard low hurdles in an era when freshmen were not allowed to qualify for the state meet.

    He set state records in the 100 and 200, but says his times â€" 9.6 seconds and 20.06, respectively â€" were wiped from the record books when the state switched to meters for its races.

    "Obviously it was a lot of fun. I have one silver medal and I have bunch of gold ones ... ,"Â￾ he says. "(But) I've always had a real pain in the side about (the records). They ought to at least carry them in the record books, because I don't think anybody has come along that has been too much faster than I was."Â￾ Still, when colleges came calling with scholarship offers, it was mostly in football. Kansas and Texas both wanted Questad in their backfield, but he chose the only school that offered him an academic scholarship rather than an athletic one.

    Going to Stanford was advantageous for him in a number of different ways. Not only did he end up running for ‘68 national team coach Payton Jordan, but he also â€" he says â€" just happened to luck into a school with a great reputation in his chosen field, mechanical engineering.

    "I didn't want to be pressured by athletics,"Â￾ Questad says. "Then I went for about a year and decided to switch over to an athletic scholarship. I was very fortunate. It turned out to be far and away the best school that offered me a scholarship, I just wasn't smart enough to know that at the time."Â￾ He'd raced mostly the 100 meters during big meets in college, but nabbed a spot on the team in the 200 during the trials in Lake Tahoe.

    Like this year's Beijing Games, the Mexico City Olympics were mired in controversy before they even began.

    Less than two weeks before the opening ceremonies a protest that drew 15,000 students to rally against government waste and police brutality ended with an estimated 267 dead and 1,000 injured.

    Now remembered as the Tiatelolco Massacre, the IOC deemed the tragedy "an internal affair"Â￾ to be handled by the Mexican government and refused to get involved.

    Also like this year, there were concerns over pollution. Prior to Mexico City, sports medicine experts of the time warned that "some athletes may die,"Â￾ from a combination of the city's poor air quality and from the elevation, 7,349 feet.

    Athletes had also been warned that certain athletic apparel companies might take the previously unheard of step of trying to pay them to wear their products.

    "There were a lot of things boiling around,"Â￾ Questad says.

    As strange as it seemed that companies might resort to payola schemes to get athletes to sport their wares on the grandest stage, the hard facts of the matter hit Questad full force just before the finals of the 200 meters.

    After a semifinal, he'd dropped his Adidas running shoes off at the appropriate tent to get them repaired. When he went to pick them up he found his shoes literally stuffed with money.

    The discovery put Questad into a panic that he would be disqualified.

    "It was all rolled up cash with rubber bands around it, just a wad stuffed in each shoe,"Â￾ Questad says. "I was just terrified. I had a reasonable chance of not only medaling but actually winning that race. I took (the money) and gave it to my coach."Â￾ His belief that he could medal wasn't far-fetched. For five years, Questad was ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100 and 200 meters. In 1963 he'd won the World Championships in both races in Helsinki, Finland, as well as another big competition in Moscow the same year.

    Aside from his teammates, none of the other entrants in the 200 at the Olympics had ever beaten him in international competition.

    But even though no sanctions were ever imposed on him for finding that money in his shoe, Questad says he didn't fully recover before race time.

    "I was totally distracted,"Â￾ he says. "That was kind of my downfall, those shoes full of money."Â￾ The track in Mexico City was also wet, which bothered him.

    "For some reason that really got to me mentally,"Â￾ Questad says.

    Whatever the reason he finished well out of the lead, coming in at 20.60 seconds, a little less than a second off Smith's world-record pace of 19.83.

    "I just didn't run well and I wasn't happy with the results,"Â￾ Questad says. "I had a good lane, everything was right (except) there were some distractions that really did bother me."Â￾ That evening he'd had taken up his position in the grandstand with the rest of the fans and runners-up. He says as soon as Smith and Carlos emerged from the tunnel with no shoes on their feet, each with a black glove on one hand and odd straps around their necks, he knew something strange was about to happen.

    Prior to the ‘68 Games, University of California professor Harry Edwards had tried to organize a boycott by African-American athletes. He is also largely credited with being the architect of Smith and Carlos' protest and his involvement with the athletes has never sat right with Questad.

    "The only person that benefitted from that day was Harry Edwards,"Â￾ Questad says. "Those guys were pawns of Harry Edwards. He was the instigator, the coordinator and benefactor. He's a guy who's been a sore spot in a lot of people's sides forever."Â￾ Questad, who was the only white male sprinter on the U.S. Olympic team that year, says he'd lived with and trained with the entire team since the Olympic trials. He considered them his friends, and still does, but disagrees with their decision to use the Olympics as a stage for a political agenda.

    He agrees with a position long held by the IOC itself, that the Games are an apolitical event - just athletic competition and nothing more.

    "Obviously, we've had some trouble spots in our history and to deny that would be wrong,"Â￾ he says. "But the Olympic spirit is to join people together. It doesn't separate people by race. In my mind it would have been better to protest in another venue."Â￾ History reflects on Smith's and Carlos' silent statement as a watershed moment in the struggle for civil rights. Questad doesn't see it that way. He just sees two guys, his friends, standing with their fists in the air.

    "I just think Tommie Smith and John Carlos were great athletes and they deserve to be thought of as great athletes, not political activists,"Â￾ Questad said.

    The ‘68 U.S. track team has been heralded by some as the greatest of all time. They keep in touch and are on friendly terms, Questad says, with another possible reunion scheduled for late this year.

    "If (Smith and Carlos) walked in here right now, it'd be all handshakes and hugs,"Â￾ Questad says. Then he pauses to think a moment: "Except they might be mad about what I just said."Â￾ The bumper sticker on Questad's car still reads: "Once an Olympian, always an Olympian. Never former, never past."Â￾ He's still as involved as he wants to be.

    Questad recently participated in a documentary produced by the family of Australian silver medalist Peter Norman â€" the third man on the podium during Smith's and Carlos' protest â€" who was equally shunned when he returned to his own country and eventually suffered a serious bout with gangrene and then heavy drinking before dying of a heart attack in 2006.

    This year Questad, 65, escorted Jordan, his 93-year-old former coach, to the Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., and admits he's getting goosebumps of anticipation for the Beijing games.

    He'll watch on television from his home near Boise, Idaho, where he's lived for nearly 30 years. He spent 25 years working for IBM and now owns a successful steel company that he runs with his wife and sons.

    But the last organized race of any kind that he competed in was the 200-meter final at the ‘68 Olympics. He says he's always admired baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax for retiring the year after he won the Cy Young award and Questad wanted the Olympics to be the top of the mountain in his running career.

    "I won some big competitions,"Â￾ he says. "You don't win them all. The one I would've liked to win the most was the gold medal at the Olympics. I didn't do that, but I do have some pretty good size trophies at home."Â￾ He still values his Montana roots. One of his sons is a graduate of Montana State and Questad says he gets back here nearly every year.

    "Montana is still my home,"Â￾ he says. "I've often thought I'd love to come back and get to an (Montana High School Association) interscholastic meeting some time, make my case for putting me back in the record book."Â￾ He laughs.

    "They've forgotten me,"Â￾ Questad says, "and they shouldn't."Â￾
     
  9. Jimmy Chitwood

    Jimmy Chitwood Hall of Famer

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    wow. that was an awesome read. i wonder what Questad would say about modern sports ...
     
  10. swampfox

    swampfox Newbie

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    Loved the article on Questad. I wonder if the name Glenn Davis has been brought up in this forum '56 and '60 gold medalist in the 400 i.m. hurd. and a 4X400 relay gold in '60. He died earlier this year at the age of 75. He was an incredible all around athlete.Was a world class performer in 100m,200m,400m,220 low hurdles,120 high hurdles and ofcourse 440 hurdle.He was near or at world record times in all those events,plus monkeyed around at an elite level with jumps and I think even a couple throwing events. You could make a serious apples to apple argument he was edwin moses equal @ 400 hurd. considering track conditions and brevity of track careers at the time.The man should be an Icon here, but the best obit. I found was in the Gaurdian.
     
  11. speedster

    speedster Mentor

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    I didn't see anything on Kevin Little out there WL.Somebody must have a race or two circulating.Hopefully they will put it up on Youtube soon like his 1997 World Championship win.
     
  12. mastermulti

    mastermulti Mentor

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    here's a rare sight, white sprinters taking the trifecta.

    It was the 1960 final, we in Australia were mourning because our 100m bronze medalist of the previous games, Hec Hogan, had died of leukaemia just the day prior to this race.

    Note the Lemaitre-esque slow start and transition phase of English third placegetter Peter Radford who comes home like a train.

    1960 final

    here's a stub on Radford, now 70. Gee there were some smart guys in track who stayed but a short time before getting stuck into their studies. Of course, it was an amateur world back then - no living could be earned by running.

    This guy broke the world 200m record before he turned 19.
    RadfordEdited by: mastermulti
     
  13. mastermulti

    mastermulti Mentor

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    Michael Johnson speaks of the world's fastest athletes.

    From 3.00 to 6.30 he talks about Alan Wells. He says "I find it hard to believe Wells was the last white (yep, he says it) sprinter to win a major championship" and it seems to me he was indicating there could be more like him if they had his immense drive and commitment.
    (this is from a man who knows Wariner's talent first hand).

    Most of us on here believe that too... have we just become too soft and contented - too lazy to really put in!

    Johnson 0n the world's greatest sprintersEdited by: mastermulti
     
  14. mastermulti

    mastermulti Mentor

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXR8Xv-S4Ig


    t
    he only white guy in this race is Kovacs but he is quite competitive here.
    Look at the time and look at the extent of victory and note how the sprints have come on in 25 years.
    Ben looked each side of him at 12 meters out and raised his arm 5 meters out and cruised over the line. Ridiculously easy and a sign it was time for the doubts to begin.

    I couldn't find the wind reading but safe to say a present day Christophe would have figured highly in this grand prix race of a quarter century back.
    Frightening thing is I saw this race run live back when ... LOL
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  15. dr.riders

    dr.riders Newbie

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    At this link i found some infos: http://digilander.libero.it/atletica2/Stagionali/WRL/1986/100.htm
    The race was in Zurich, 13Aug1986. The wind -0.7.

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]10.03
    [/TD]
    [TD]-0.7[/TD]
    [TD]Ben Johnson
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]10.22[/TD]
    [TD]-0.7[/TD]
    [TD]Chidi Imoh[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]10.25[/TD]
    [TD]-0.7[/TD]
    [TD]Carl Lewis
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]
    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]10.25[/TD]
    [TD]-0.7[/TD]
    [TD]Calvin Smith
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    i don't know the other times. But there were also Linford Christie apart Attila Kovács
     
  16. mastermulti

    mastermulti Mentor

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    good one! thanks dr.


    I think Christie and Kovacs followed in that order. About 10.27 and 10.29 I'd say.

    That list from 1986 has 10 white athletes 10.22 and under (including Alan Wells 10.21, by this time 34yrs 4mths old).
    We don't have that number on the 2011 list
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  17. greyghost

    greyghost Guru

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    woronin.

    this guy is definitley marian woronin:biggrin:
     
  18. TwistedRepeats.

    TwistedRepeats. Banned

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    Casey Combest.


    [video=youtube;Xh-gP2jc3sA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh-gP2jc3sA[/video]
     
  19. seattlefan

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  20. TwistedRepeats.

    TwistedRepeats. Banned

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    Yup, he could have gone all the way to the top.

    And at that age, not many of the elite that is around today, if any, would have touched him.

    Shame, would have been something special if he kept with it.

    And look at the bodytype, more meat on a butchers pencil.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  21. frederic38

    frederic38 Hall of Famer

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    the last time i checked, his record on the 60 m was still standing
    [​IMG]
     
  22. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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  23. greyghost

    greyghost Guru

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    blah

    cameron sharp[ bronze in 82 commonwealth behind wells and dope johnson] the "other " scottish sprinter of the early 80s , an absolute gifted sprinter with all the right tools until car crash ended his career way too early. :biggrin:
     
  24. greyghost

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    christian krone SA

    anybody know whatever happened to the the big bodied white south african sprinter christian krone , a talented sprinter last seen in osaka 2007 over 200meters :spy:
     
  25. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    Here is a small online story about the last White man to win the century (100 meter dash) and the political turmoil surrounding the games. I always felt if Asafa had half the heart of Wells he would have won a major 100 final by now.......http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/16028182
     

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