London Olympics

The Mile Still Matters To Track & Field

Aug 2, 2012
From ryunrunning.com

Track and field has a numbers problem. As in, there are just too many of them. The 60, 26.2, 4-by-8, 2-oh-3, 5, 8, 10k…

Back in the 1950s, there was one number that mattered.

"I think there are only a handful of achievements like breaking 4 minutes for the first time, in any sport, that comes close to what Roger Bannister has done." 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Earlier this week, at the London Olympics, the American team competed in the double canoe slalom. That’s when two men kneel inside a kayak and work together to navigate an obstacle course on whitewater rapids. If you watched this on NBC, you might have caught a glimpse of a pair of paddles made in New Hampshire.

In rustic Canaan, New Hampshire, Peter Mitchell is hard at work sanding a freshly carved double-bladed kayak paddle.

Flikr Creative Commons / StewartCutler

Guor Marial is a South Sudanese refugee who spent his high school years in Concord. He has now qualified to run the Olympic marathon.

In the past few weeks he’s had a lot of press: Time Magazine, the Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press, and too many other publications to name have run profiles on him. Marial’s story has spread so far because it’s basically the perfect Olympic story.

Food, as we so often note on this blog, means a lot of different things to different people. To Olympic athletes, food is fuel for exceptional athletic performance. But there's a surprising amount of variety in just how much fuel elite athletes need.

Anyone who followed Michael Phelps' astonishing performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games surely will remember one of the secrets of his success: Consuming as many as 12,000 calories in a day.