By Samuel Hawley
On the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics an unknown Vancouver runner named Percy Williams stunned the activities global by means of shooting the a hundred- and 200-metre gold medals. a few acknowledged the feat was once a fluke. It used to be now not. In 1929 Percy silenced naysayers via sweeping the united states indoor song circuit, then he went directly to set an international list within the a hundred meters that might stand till the arriving of Jesse Owens. And in among he waged a pace duel with the fleetest males on this planet, a conflict for music supremacy and the identify "World's quickest Human". in line with wide learn that integrated entry to Percy's inner most letters, diary and scrapbooks, this can be the 1st full-length account of this activities legend, the most recognized Canadians of his day yet now mostly forgotten. It starts because the Cinderella tale of a adolescence who conquers a recreation ruled via American sprinters. Then it will get grittier, for fulfillment and status had a gloomy facet. "I simply Ran" follows Percy and his janitor-coach Bob Granger as they trip throughout the international of elite operating within the Nineteen Twenties and 30s - an international that was once no longer regularly lovely underneath the veneer of amateurism.
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Additional resources for I Just Ran: Percy Williams, World's Fastest Human
Then it was back to the sidelines to lie immobile under a pile of blankets. The whole point, as Bob saw it, was to get Percy warmed up with the minimum expenditure of energy. When it was time for Percy to race, Bob even dug his starting holes for him. First up was the hundred-yard dash. Released from his blankets, Percy was “warm as toast,” and after two or three practice starts was ready to go. Bob kept him in the sweats and sweaters until the last moment. Then, as Percy was taking his marks, Bob raced down to the finish with his clothes so that he could re-bundle his boy the moment he was first through the tape.
Imagine my feelings,” Bob writes, “as he raced at the side of the great and graceful Coaffee in that style. ” 8 Cyril crossed the finish first in 10 1/5 seconds. Percy, struggling most of the way, came second. Things now became confusing. At just about any major track meet, a second-place finish in a semifinal guaranteed a spot in the final. Most major meets, however, were held on tracks with six lanes. The Varsity Stadium track had only five. To accommodate this fact, meet organizers had adopted an awkward qualification process for the final: the winner of each of the three semis would advance, plus the second-place finishers in the two fastest races.
2 He had gone out for rugby at the start of the school year, no doubt to Bob Granger’s immense aggravation, and had promptly twisted his ankle in his very first game. He contented himself with being the team’s secretary-treasurer after that. 3 He also formed a private club with his best friend Bobby Gaul and four others in his graduating class, complete with a custom-designed crest for their sweatsuits. ” 4 “Luke’s” track shoes, meanwhile, gathered dust in the closet. Bob Granger for his part was keeping busy with his unpaid coaching.
I Just Ran: Percy Williams, World's Fastest Human by Samuel Hawley