NEWS

Vancouver 'Miracle Mile' statute runners return home where they first raced

07/10/2015 05:25 EDT | Updated 07/10/2016 05:59 EDT
For almost a half-century two lanky bronze men have stood in a frozen race near the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds, seeming out of place amidst the hustle, bustle and grit of Hastings Street.

Although they're largely ignored by commuters and fair-goers, the statue was inspired by two real men who ran the first mile 60 years ago in under four minutes and the  electrifying moment when they crossed the finish line was captured by sculptor Jack Harman.

Video of the race from the famed "Miracle Mile" race in 1954, captured by CBC as its first sport's broadcast, shows Roger Bannister of England and John Landy of Australia finishing almost shoulder to shoulder at Vancouver's new Empire Stadium.

On Friday the statue was re-located to its new home in Empire Field where the racers competed 60 years ago. 

"Almost at the end of the race, Landy in the lead, he looked over his left shoulder to check on Bannister and Bannister passed him on the right. It was one of the most dramatic moments in sports history, certainly in Canada," said Bryan Newson, public art program manager for Vancouver.

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