Grete Waitz, pioneer of women's distance running, has died, IAAF tribute, note by Larry Eder

Joan Benoit Samuelson, Grete Waitz, ING NY 2005, photo by

Grete Waitz, one of the great women pioneers of marathoning, and one of the greatest women distance runners of all times, died today, April 19, after a long battle with cancer. She was 57. Grete was a champion of women's sports and a model for living a life with dignity and meaning. Please keep her, her husband Jack, and her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. An IAAF tribute is below:




19 April 2011



Grete Waitz, distance running legend, passes away


Monaco - The IAAF is deeply saddened by the news that Grete Waitz, a legendary pioneer in women's Marathon running, passed away today after fighting a long battle with cancer.


Waitz, who took the gold medal in the Marathon at the inaugural IAAF World Championships in Helsinki in 1983 and the Olympic silver medal over the distance in Los Angeles in 1984, was 57.


A sporting legend in her native Norway, Waitz was perhaps best known for her streak of four World bests in the Marathon from 1978 to 1983, her five victories at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and for her record nine victories at the New York City Marathon.


"One of the brightest flames of the modern athletics era has been extinguished but the heroic deeds of Grete Waitz will live on eternally," commented IAAF President Lamine Diack. "The dedication, perseverance and fortitude with which Grete carved out her athletics career on the track, across the country and on the road is an example to us all, as is the positive way she tackled the illness that beset her life in recent years. On behalf of the international athletics family I wish to express our heartfelt sorrow at the passing of such a great champion, and offer our sincerest sympathies and condolences to her family and friends."


Click here to read a full obituary on the IAAF website:

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