One from History: The British Vegetarian Long-Distance Olympic Champion


MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, July 31, 2012 (Manchester Evening News): (HPI is struggling to find anything about the Olympics which might interest our Hindu readers. Today we offer this historical tidbit.)

Emil Voigt, a Manchester journalist, a self-trained vegetarian and a radio pioneer, was born in Ardwick and holds an Olympic record unlikely ever to be broken. He raced to victory in the five miles event at the 1908 London Games, clocking 25 mins 11.2 seconds. It was and still is an Olympic record.

And in the 104 years since, no Brit has struck individual Olympic gold in an event above 5,000 meters. The five-mile distance (8,045 meters) is no longer run in the Olympics, but unlike many sepia tinged performances of the past, Voigt’s time still compares favorably with anything his modern day counterparts can manage.

Voigt was something of a maverick. He preferred to train himself, running three times a day, well into the night, in the weeks leading up to the Games. He devised a special vegetarian diet and used self-massage as a means of preparation.

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