Miracle Mile winner Roger Bannister dies at 88

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      One of the most famous sporting events in Vancouver history took place on August 7, 1954 in front of 35,000 people at Empire Stadium.

      A British medical student, Roger Bannister, was competing in the mile against arch rival John Landy of New Zealand.

      It was called the Everest of athletic achievements when Bannister had run the first sub-four-minute mile a few months earlier at Iffley Road in Oxford.

      But his world record didn't last long because Landy ran an even faster time six weeks later in Finland.

      Listen to Roger Bannister describe running the first sub-four-minute mile at Oxford in 1954.

      It set the stage for a head-to-head battle at the British Empire Games in Vancouver.

      In the final stretch, Landy was in the lead. But as he glanced over his left shoulder, Bannister came powering by on the right.

      Bannister ended up winning the Miracle Mile with a time of 3:58.8, and Landy came a close second at 3:59.6

      Landy's head turn assumed epic proportions in the media coverage of the day. And it's captured in a statue at Hastings Park by Jack Harman, which remained for decades near the northeast corner of East Hastings and Renfrew Street.

      In 2015 it was moved closer to where the race was actually held at Empire Stadium.

      The Miracle Mile back in 1954 put Vancouver on the map in the international sports world.

      On Saturday (March 3), Bannister died at the age of 88 in Oxford.

      Since his moment of fame in Vancouver, his time has been eclipsed on many occasions.

      But this memorable event—and the statue—remain a constant reminder that Vancouver established itself in the international world of sports long before the opening of the 2010 Winter Games.

      Bannister went on to be a successful neurologist.