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Remembering The Great Emil Voigt

The famous British vegetarian won Olympic gold back in 1908.

The famous British vegetarian won Olympic gold back in 1908.

Britain’s record of long-distance events on the track at the Olympics isn’t particularly impressive. After all, the last time someone from that nation won a gold medal in a distance race was 1908.

The man who did it was Emil Voigt.

At the time, Voigt was a wiry vegetarian from Manchester. He prevailed in the now-obsolete five-mile race, clocking 25:11.2.

Now, all eyes are on Somali-born Mo Farah, who stands a very good chance of winning gold in front of a home crowd at the upcoming Summer Games in London.

But Voigt’s story is still worth learning.

Vougt, who was a newspaper correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, went on to become the British five-, four- and one-mile champion. His five-mile time in the Olympics still stands as a record and will never be broken since that event is no longer held.

In 1911, Voigt immigrated to Australia and retired from competition in 1914. He went on to launch the country’s first Labor (political party) radio station in Sydney.

For More: Guardian