The Legend

Steve Prefontaine. He was never the fastest but he would end up challenging the world.  To many runners he is a legend. To me he is a benchmark of what it means to be true to oneself. He died a tragic death at the age of 24; with so much left to give. He was the first Nike athlete at the time when the business was struggling. To him it was much more than just winning.  He was known to be upfront, to be a heart-breaker, to be a rebel, and to be a legendary runner. He had turned down a fortune and risked living in poverty in order to compete in the Olympics. His competition knew beating him would bring them to the brink of death. Prefontaine once said, “Someone may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.” He knew he lacked in speed and talent compared to other runners, but that did not stop him.  He never compromised his ideals sometimes to a fault. If you look closely through his life you might see glimpses of vulnerability. His allure came from his brash and upfront personality and running style. It was unconventional and risky. He rebelled against the AAU and fought for athletes at the time when American athletes were taken advantage of. He would evoke a lot of emotion out of AAU; not because he was trying to be a rebel but because he was trying to do the right thing.   He was a rebel with a cause.  His impact on others is why many remember him. Many people like to talk but perhaps his impact on others came from his ability to listen, and to make others feel significant.  He is an example of a masculine figure which we lack today. A true legend. 



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