Sport: Fireman on the Track

Eleven competitors lined up for the race, but the 17,000 foot-racing fans, sizzling in the stands at New York's Triborough Stadium, had eyes for only two. One was chunky, pony-gaited Gregory Rice, taking time off from his duties as chief petty officer at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, L.I. to defend the championship he had won for five successive years. The other: gaunt, gazelle-gaited Gunder Hagg (pronounced Hegg), the touted Swedish fireman who was making his U.S. debut in the national 5,000-meter run.

On form, things looked none too good for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!