The Best Runners of All Time

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Millions of fans enjoy watching runners hit new heights during Olympics and International competitions, thousands of them love live betting on top athletes. But who are those sportsmen who have been inspiring lots of young runners to make their dreams come true? 

Florence Griffith Joyner

The three-time Olympic champion managed to outperform many men on the track in terms of her results. Florence always stood out from other athletes, including her appearance: she never allowed herself to appear in a race without her hair and carefully applied makeup.

At the 1984 Olympic Games she came second in the 200 m and followed this result three years later in Rome. Griffith Joyner in 1988 set a new world record for women by running the 100 m in Indianapolis in an incredible 10.49 seconds.

Amazingly, the phenomenal result recorded over 30 years ago has still not been beaten. Joyner left the sport unexpectedly at the height of her career in 1990. After a short period of time she began to have serious health problems. A series of heart attacks led to her death in 1998.

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Florence Griffith Joyner is believed to die in her sleep from an epileptic attack. Although the controversy that the athlete may have used doping still persists to this day and there are two reasons: her rapidly improving results in races and her early death from a suspected heart attack.

Usain Bolt

One of the greatest athletes of our time, Usain Bolt won the title of the world’s fastest runner, earning a nickname as impetuous as his own, “Lightning.” Six-time Olympic champion, four-time record holder and simply a spectacular man. For his unique achievements in athletics he was awarded the title “Champion of Champions” by many distinguished sports publications.

According to physicians and leading physiologists, Bolt has a unique muscular structure that sets him apart from other runners: he outperforms his rivals in physical performance by a third. The athlete’s persistent systematic training also plays its role. This resulted in an incredibly powerful 2.6m ‘stride’, which, even on an average start, left little or no chance for his rivals. He is the only track and field athlete who has won gold in sprints at three Olympics in a row (in 2008, 2012, and 2016) and holds a record number of gold medals.

The fast runner won his last gold in Rio de Janeiro, planning to break his own record, but he didn’t. Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed. After a serious tendon rupture, Usain decided to quit the sport. In addition to sports achievements, Usain Bolt is also known as an avid car enthusiast and racer. In his honor, the Nissan brand released a special model of the car – Premium Edition GT-R Bolt Gold.

Donald Lippincott

In 1912, the International Association of Athletics Federations was founded. The organization arose from a dire need for a governing body for athletics, which was developing at the time by leaps and bounds: new running techniques were created and improved, the level of professional training of athletes was increased, and new, special diets for runners appeared.

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In the background of all this movement, there was a continuous wave of records set by runners one after another: more impressive results appeared every 5-6 years. Over a couple of decades, over 18 athletes managed to be record-breakers. Donald Lipicott was among them. Only, unlike the others, he didn’t just set a world record, he was the first runner in the short marathon to do so and stay on top for nine years.

At first glance, it may seem that the athlete’s achievement isn’t that significant, but at that time such a figure was impressive. There were no special sports shoes for runners in those days: they used leather sandals, which could severely chafe the feet. And the advanced training programs actively used by modern athletes didn’t exist back then either.

Donald Lippincott devoted his whole life to the sport and, to his credit, three years after he set the record, was able to break it again by running the 100 meters as a member of the relay team.

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Jesse Owens

The renowned athlete and record holder of his time became a four-time Olympic champion at the 1936 Games, winning the 100 m, 200 m, 4×100 m and the long jump. It wasn’t until 48 years later that another American athlete, Carl Lewis, repeated such an incredible achievement in 1984.

Jesse Owens was the real star of the 1936 Olympic Games held in Germany. Thus somewhat overshadowing the triumph of the German team and Hitler, who was present at the sporting event. Legend has it that the athlete’s victory so infuriated the Führer that he refused to shake Owens’ hand. In reality, Hitler didn’t greet anyone with a handshake at the time, but merely greeted them from his lodge. According to the athlete, it wasn’t the German leader who offended him, but his own president didn’t even give the Olympian a greeting card.

Jesse Owens is the only track and field athlete at the moment whose record hasn’t been broken for an equally record-breaking 20 years. Returning home to the States after his triumph, the runner faced a harsh racist reality and worked hard for years to somehow feed his family. It wasn’t until 40 years later that he was publicly recognized in his own country: he was inducted into the U.S. Athletics Hall of Fame, and a couple of years later he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by then-President Ford.

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