“His great feat—being the first to run a mile in under four minutes—was of a different order than, say, Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak or Wilt Chamberlain’s hundred-point night. Bannister was the most ordinary of athletes. He was a medical student at the time of his record run, in 1954. He trained during his lunch hour … The claim that typically accompanies a feat of athletic genius—that it may never be equalled—was never said of Bannister’s four-minute mile. The point of his race was exactly the opposite.” Malcolm Gladwell on The Ordinary Greatness of Roger Bannister. (Bannister passed away over the weekend at the age of 88.)

+ Ian Crouch: Roger Bannister’s Solitary Pursuit of the Four-Minute Mile.