This is the third of three recent posts about Steve Prefontaine
who died 37 years ago today.
At one time Steve Prefontaine ("PRE") held every American distance record from two-thousand to ten-thousand meters. After his valiant fourth-place finish in the 1972 Olympic 5,000 meter race, the experts agreed that with more international experience he’d be a favorite to win that race at the ’76 Olympics four years later. But one evening leading up to that Olympics, he failed to negotiate a sharp turn in the road on his way home. His MGB rolled over on top of him, crushing him to death before help could arrive. On a roadside boulder at the accident scene along Skyline Boulevard near the University of Oregon is a simple sentiment:
Check out this video from students at the University of Oregon who interviewed many visitors at PRE's Rock.
Below the boulder is a memorial to the popular running legend and cult hero where fans leave personal objects and offerings such as poems and photos, race numbers and singlets, running shoes and caps, medals and trophies, sports drinks and energy bars. The memorial reads:
For your dedication and loyalty
To your principles and beliefs . . .
For your love, warmth, and friendship
For your family and friends . . .
You are missed by so many
And you will never be forgotten.