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Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was a British athlete and neurologist who was the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes. Breaking the four-minute-mile was considered one of the most iconic moments in the history of athetics.
See the fact file below for more information on the Roger Bannister or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Roger Bannister worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Roger Bannister was born in Harrow, Middlesex, England.
- He belonged to a middle-class family, as his parents both came from working class families in Lancashire.
- He first attended school in a suburb of London, where he showed that he was a natural at running.
- At a young age, Bannister had already expressed a desire to study at a prestigious university in England to become a doctor, despite his working class family not being able to afford it.
- He wanted to win a scholarship to study medicine.
- Bannister’s family moved to Bath, England at the onset of World War II.
- In Bath, Bannister was able to practice his running on the way to and from school.
- He developed exceptional speed, which made him popular among his classmates.
- In 1944, the family returned to London where Roger continued his studies at College School.
- He applied to Exeter College, Oxford and his scholastic efforts paid off as he secured a scholarship to Oxford University.
- At age 17, he started to receive professional training for running in Oxford.
- Bannister was selected as a possible participant in the 1948 Olympics in London, but he declined to compete as he felt unprepared.
- He concentrated on his training and his medical studies at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School.
- Bannister also continued to train and improved his performance over the years.
- From 1951 to 1954, Bannister trained at the track at Paddington Recreation Ground in Maida Vale.
- After much training and determination, Bannister went to the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
- Bannister failed to win the gold medal, placing forth, but set a British record in the 1500 meters.
- He was discouraged by his loss, but later set a new goal for himself, which was to become the first four-minute miler.
- At that point, he was studying full time at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School and was training for only 45 minutes a day.
- Despite his limited time spent training, he made much improvement year after year, which convinced him that he would be able to achieve his new goal.
- On May 6, 1954, Bannister’s chance to achieve his goal arose, competing for the British Amateur Athletic Association in a meet at Oxford.
- He finished the first three quarter-mile laps in less than three minutes, then completed the last lap in less than a minute.
- Bannister reached the finish line and broke the tap at a record-breaking time of 3:59.4.
- At 25 years old, Roger Bannister had made history as the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes.
- On June 21, 1954, Australian runner John Landy became the second man to achieve a sub-4-minute mile, breaking Bannister’s record with a time of 3:57.9.
- On August 7, 1954, at the British Empire Games in Vancouver, Bannister and Landy competed with each other in a race dubbed as “The Mile of the Century”.
- Bannister came in first at 3:58.8 while Landy finished at 3:59.6.
- Later that year, Roger Bannister was awarded the annual Silver Pears Trophy, an award given for the outstanding British achievement in any field.
- He also won the European title in the 1500 meters before retiring from running competitively in 1954.
- His autobiography entitled “First Four Minutes” was published in 1955.
- It has since been reprinted as “Four-Minute Mile”.
- Bannister graduated from St. Mary’s in 1954, and earned a medical degree from Oxford in 1963.
- Following his retirement from sport, Bannister spent the next forty years practicing medicine in the field of neurology.
- In March 1957, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps at Crookham, and served two years of National Service as a lieutenant.
- His primary contribution to academia was in the field of autonomic failure, an area of neurology concerned with illnesses characterized by the loss of certain automatic responses of the nervous system.
- He published more than eighty academic papers on the autonomic nervous system, heat illness, multiple system atrophy, and cardiovascular physiology.
- Bannister said that he was prouder of his achievements in neurology than his world-breaking record in the sub-4-minute mile.
PERSONAL LIFE AND LEGACY
- In 1955, Bannister married Moyra Elver Jacobsson, a Swedish artist, in Basel, Switzerland.
- The couple had four children.
- Bannister served as Chairman of the Sports Council of Great Britain from 1971 to 1974, and as President of the International Council for Sport and Physical Recreation from 1976 to 1983.
- He was knighted in 1975.
- In 2011, Bannister was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
- Twenty days shy of his 89th birthday, Bannister died peacefully at his home in Oxford on March 3, 2018.
Roger Bannister Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Roger Bannister across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Roger Bannister worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister who was a British athlete and neurologist who was the first athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes. Breaking the four-minute-mile was considered one of the most iconic moments in the history of athetics.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Roger Bannister Facts
- Bannister’s Biography
- Turn to Truth
- Bannister Crossword
- Running Vocabulary
- Neurology Vocabulary
- Inspiring Quotes
- Bannister’s Rival
- Best Runners
- Plaque of Honor
- Learning from Bannister
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Link will appear as Roger Bannister Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 3, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
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