Steve Prefontaine died on 30 May 1975, the night after running one of his fastest 5000m. As a junior in high school in 1975, I recall the announcement on the TV news that night. I had a sick feeling in my stomach. Prefontaine was a rock star, and his races were seen on TV on many occassions.
Peter John L. Thompson provided us with the Eulogy read by Kenny Moore, a 1968 and 1972 Olympian, as well as long time writer in Sports Illustrated, which was given on 3 June 1975. In the 1980 Olympic Trials program, the Eulogy and photo by Brian Lanker, were run. The Eulogy still sends shivers down my back.
The photo and Eulogy. Photo by Brian Lanker, Eulogy by Kenny Moore, Updated jpeg by Peter John L. Thompson (download here: Kenny Moore – Eulogy Program v.2 Lanker.pdf)
The final piece is from 1984, written by Kenny Moore, on the legacy of Steve Prefontaine. When Pre died, he held all US records from 2000m to 10,000m. My thoughts on this day are for his family, friends and fans. A guy at 24 is just on the cusp of life. I picture Pre with grey hair, a hot coffee, and a big burrito, watching track meets in Coos Bay in an Oregon hoodie. I could see Pre as a high school track coach. How lucky those kids would have been.
Take a few minutes and think about the legacy of Steve Prefontaine.
Thoughts on Pre, 1984, by Kenny Moore (download here: Thoughts on PRE – Kenny Moore 06.06.84.pdf)
Special thanks to Peter John L. Thompson for these amazing files.