He was skinny—like me. A famous athlete—which I wanted to be.
I wanted to be the center of attention, and this skinny runner was getting all the attention I craved.
I was in elementary school, and the collegian Jim Ryun gave hope of athletic acclaim to this 76-pounder. It seemed every month leading up to the 1968 Summer Olympics, Ryun was setting record after record in distance running. During 1966 and 1967 he set world records in the 880-yard run, the 1,500-meter run, the one-mile outdoor run and the one-mile indoor run.