vancouver statues

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Statue in Vancouver, British Columbia of John Landy of Australia and Roger Bannister of England

On 7 August, at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Bannister competed against Landy for the first time in a race billed as “The Miracle Mile”. They were the only two men in the world to have broken the 4-minute barrier, with Landy still holding the world record. Landy looked over his left shoulder to gauge Bannister’s position and Bannister burst past him on the right; Bannister won in 3 min 58.8 s, with Landy 0.8 s behind in 3 min 59.6 s. A larger-than-life bronze sculpture of the two men at this moment was created by Vancouver sculptor Jack Harman in 1967 from a photograph by Vancouver Sun photographer Charlie Warner and stood for many years at the entrance to Empire Stadium; after the stadium was demolished the sculpture was moved a short distance away to the Hastings and Renfrew entrance of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) fairgrounds. Regarding this sculpture, Landy quipped that “While Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back, I am probably the only one ever turned into bronze for looking back.”