Sport: Better Than the Best

Chasing butterflies around his home; in Melbourne, Australia gave amateur Entomologist John Landy, 24, the legs and lungs of a miler. Watching the great Czech Champion Emil Zatopek win three Olympic titles taught him some of the technical tricks of the track star's trade.

Then a long pep talk from his coach at Melbourne University convinced him that he had the makings of a track star himself. In December 1952, on a soggy Melbourne track, Landy ran a 4:02.1 mile, the second fastest on record. After that, he aimed high. He set his sights on the fabled four-minute mile. But he was...

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