Did you know that Eric Liddell was born today in 1902? He was a famous athlete and runner. Before the 1924 Olympics, he found out that the race he was best-at was scheduled on a Sunday, a day sacred to him because of his religious beliefs. Eric Liddell chose to not run in that race. Instead, he started training for another race, one that he was not as good at. At the Olympics, he won the Olympic Gold Medal for that race, and set an Olympic and world record. Eric Liddell’s decision was depicted in a famous movie called Chariots of Fire.
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Eric Liddell was born in Tianjin, China. In 1945, he passed away from a brain tumor, while interned or imprisoned at the Japanese civilian internment camp near Weifang, China. He was serving as a missionary in China; he worked as a teacher and also provided medical aid. Even in the internment camp, he became a leader. He helped the elderly, taught classes for the children, and organized activities to help improve the life of the others also confined to the camp.
Eric Liddell also played cricket and rugby.
While in college, he set records in the 100-yard and 220-yard races.
In the 1924 Olympics, Eric Liddell was supposed to run in the 100-meter race. He instead trained for the 400-meter race. Before training, his time was moderately good. At the race, he was on the outside lane, so he could not see where the other runners were. Most runners sprinted for the first half of the track, and then ‘coasted’ for the second. Eric Liddell, ran the whole course in a sprint and set an Olympic and world record.