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Jim Ryun To Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

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  • Jim Ryun To Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Taylor Elddrige: Trump to honor Wichita running legend and former U.S. congressman

    https://www.kansas.com/sports/other-...244299577.html

    One of Wichita’s greatest all-time athletes is set to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor on Friday.

  • #2
    One of my favorite JIm Ryun races. The announcers never mentioned Jim's name until just into the gun lap. I don't think they could quite believe that Jim could hold off the charges of both Jim Grelle and Peter Snell.

    Last edited by 1972Shocker; 2 weeks ago.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
      One of my favorite JIm Ryun races. The announcers never mentioned Jim's name until just into the gun lap. I don't think the could quite believe that Jim could hold off the charges of both Jim Grelle and Peter Snell.

      Holy crap that got me jazzed up!!
      Auf geht's Shockers, Shieß on tooor!
      Sheiß on tOOOOr ...
      Sheiß on toooOOOOoooor!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kung Wu View Post

        Holy crap that got me jazzed up!!
        Here is one of the comments to that video made abourt 8 years ago:

        A high school senior running a 53.9 last lap to defeat the reigning 800 and 1500m olympic champ and setting an American record in the process and only 1.7 seconds from a world record !!!!! Not to take anything away from Webb, but he would have to have beat El G that day and run about about a 3:45-3:46 mile for these performances to be equal. A high schooler, Holy S**t

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        • #5
          Here is a great article about Jim written in 2015 around the 50th annivesary of his victory over Peter Snell and Jim Grelle on June 27, 1965 as shown above:

          Reid: Miler Jim Ryun’s 50-year-old upset of Peter Snell still a magic moment in history

          https://www.ocregister.com/2015/06/2...nt-in-history/

          Some highlights from the article:

          Saturday (late marks the 50th anniversary of Ryun’s thrilling upset of New Zealand’s Peter Snell, the Olympic 1,500- and 800-meter champion, arguably the greatest single achievement ever by an American high school athlete and a pivotal race in the career of a man many still believe is the greatest middle distance talent the world has ever seen.

          In an age when track and field was more popular in the U.S. than the NBA, NHL and what is now NASCAR, no one was a bigger star than Ryun. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated seven times, more than Willie Mays, Wilt Chamberlain, Sandy Koufax or Jim Brown.

          Ryun was the most unlikely of sports heroes. Skinny, frail and awkward, he struggled in Little League, wasn’t suited for either basketball or football.

          The field not only included Snell but Grelle, who had set the American record the week before in Vancouver, running 3:55.4, and Jozef Odlozil of Czechoslovakia, the Olympic silver medalist. Indeed, Snell wasn’t concerned with Ryun.

          “J.D. said during the (pre-race) press conference some reporter had mentioned to Peter Snell something about the high school boy and Peter said ‘I don’t think he will be much of a factor,’” Ryun said. “J.D. told me that to try and motivate me. But it wasn’t necessary.”

          From another 2013 article: “In 1965 I had just turned 18, and the day before the meet there had been a press conference, and I was not invited because I was a high school kid — which didn’t bother me. But my coach, J.D. Edmundson, went, and he came back and said, ‘They asked Peter Snell what he thought about the kid from Wichita East. And he said, “Well, one day he may be a factor in a race, and I’m sure he’ll have a great career”. Well, J.D. was telling me that hoping it was going to fire me up. But I was already fired up. I didn’t need that.”

          After San Diego there were stumbles – sometimes literally – along the way. He came down with mononucleosis while training for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. The combination of disrupted training and Mexico City’s higher altitude left Ryun unable to challenge Kenya’s Kip Keino in the Olympic 1,500 final. A year earlier Ryun had beaten Keino by more than 30 yards in his world record 1,500 run. Four years later, Ryun ran a 3:52.8 mile in Toronto, then the third-fastest mile ever, leading up to the 1972 Games in Munich. But he fell after being tripped in the Olympic prelims and failed to advance.

          Ryun, however, is largely remembered for running times that revolutionized his sport, records that despite advances in shoes, tracks and training, stood for the better part of a decade. And he is remembered for days like the one at the Coliseum when he destroyed Keino and special nights in Bakersfield and San Diego. Note: 55 years later, Ryun still holds the record for the fastest time in a high school only race with his 3:58.3 in the Kansas State High School championships his senior year.

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          • #6
            Here is a video of today's Medal of Freedom presentation. Very nice.

            https://www.c-span.org/video/?474182...eedom-jim-ryun

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
              Here is a video of today's Medal of Freedom presentation. Very nice.

              https://www.c-span.org/video/?474182...eedom-jim-ryun
              This is fantastic! Trump is great!!
              Auf geht's Shockers, Shieß on tooor!
              Sheiß on tOOOOr ...
              Sheiß on toooOOOOoooor!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
                Here is a video of today's Medal of Freedom presentation. Very nice.

                https://www.c-span.org/video/?474182...eedom-jim-ryun
                KU's (and Wichita's) finest and one great human being.
                "You Just Want to Slap The #### Outta Some People"

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                • #9
                  I noticed that Jim was sporting the colors of the East High Blue Aces (Navy Blue, White and Columbia Blue). Interesting factoid was how he ended up at East because he had no plans for college and wanted to learn drafting at Vo-Tech at East so he could follow in his father's and uncle's footsteps and work at Boeing. Little did he realize he would learn the art of drafting on the race track.

                  Just think how Jim's life might have been different had he made his church baseball team or his jr. high basketball team. Not making those teams might have been the best thing that every happened to him.
                  Last edited by 1972Shocker; 1 week ago.

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                  • #10
                    The 1st United States athlete to own the world record in the outdoor mile was John Paul Jones who at 4:15.4 in 1911. In the 109 years since then only two other U.S. runners have been able to achieve that. Interestingly, both are Kansans. Glenn Cunningham set the record at 4:06.8 in 1934 and Jim Ryun at 3:51.3 in 1966 and then 3:51.1 in 1967.

                    Glenn's story might be even more compelling than Jim's. He was born in Atlanta, Kansas in 1909 about 50 miles southeast of Wichita, However, he grew up in Elkhart in the southwest corner of Kansas. In February of 1916, Cunningham and his older brother Floyd were badly burned in an accidental fire in their schoolhouse. Floyd died from the burns, and doctors thought that Cunningham's legs were so badly burned that they would have to be amputated and was told he would never walk again. However, he eventually recovered after a long battle. Cunningham regained his strength by running. By the time he was 12, he had beaten all the local high school runners. His legs remained deeply scarred, however. Throughout his life, he would have to massage them and spend time doing long warm-up exercises in order to maintain circulation. In addition, his injuries meant that he could never run smoothly or efficiently; he compensated with endurance and strength. It is interesting to speculate on how great he might have been if he had never been injured.

                    Because Cunningham had won 21 out of 31 races at Madison Square Garden, and set his best indoor mile there in 1938 with a time of 4:07.4, he was named the most outstanding track athlete to compete at the Garden during its first 100 years.

                    Cunningham married Ruth Sheffield, in the summer of 1947. Although he might have used his name as a star athlete to make a great deal of money, he was more interested in helping others than in making a fortune. He and his wife opened the Glenn Cunningham Youth Ranch and over the next three decades, raised over 10,000 foster children.

                    Inspiring story of an invalid who became the fastest runner

                    One could certainly make the case that Glenn Cunningham would also have been very worthy recipient of the Medal of Freedom.
                    Last edited by 1972Shocker; 1 week ago.

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