British running legend, Sir Roger Bannister has revealed he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Sir Roger, 85, was the first man in history to run a mile in under four minutes.
May 6th, 1954, Bannister clocked an incredible 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds to enter the record books. Despite this mammoth effort, he himself claims that winning a gold medal in the 1954 Commonwealth games is the pinnacle of his career in athletics.
The games in Vancouver, were under intense scrutiny as Bannister’s main rival, Australian John Landy, broke the former’s record time of 3.59.4 just 46 days previous. This rivalry would ensue throughout the games, until Bannister pipped Landy to claim the gold. Most experts at the time claimed that the winner of the race would go down as the supreme runner of his generation.
After the race, Bannister spoke of his delight at beating his arch-nemesis.
“The race between the two of us was a very, very special race. It determined which would be regarded as the superior runner in history.”
Now, Bannister faces an even tougher test, a struggle against a potent illness, which is proving difficult to find any form of cure.
It is estimated that in the UK, one person every hour is diagnosed with Parkinson’s. However, medical experts are confident that they will be able to source a medicine, or treatment(s) to help reduce the number of victims to the disease.
Sir Roger remains upbeat, and somewhat philosophical about the challenges that he will have to tackle in the coming months.
“I am being well looked after and I don’t intend to let it interfere – as much as I can.
“Just consider the alternatives – that is the way I look at it. One of my pleasures in life, apart from running, has been walking. Intellectually I am not [degenerating] and what is walking anyway?”
It’s quite clear that the determination showed in breaking the world record, has stayed with him for life, and is showing no signs of giving up without a fight. The whole sporting world will try and rally around to help one of the all time greats, a true British hero. Sir Roger Bannister.