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Wednesday, 22 November, 2000, 18:50 GMT
Tribute to an Olympic hero

BBC Sport Online takes a look at Olympic legend and four-times gold medallist Emil Zatopek who died on Wednesday 22 November 2000.

A Czech national hero

The former army colonel not only thrilled spectators on the track, achieving the unthinkable in eight days at Helsinki, but earned international acclaim for his passionate defence of Czech independence.

  • real 14k Listen as BBC athletics correspondent John Rawling looks back at an amazing career.

  • real 14k Listen as John Disley (bronze in Steeplechase in the 1952 Olympics), Rex Alston (commentator), Arthur Ellis (1952 football referee) and Sandy Duncan (British Olympic Association) talk about Zatopek.

    1948 Games

    Zatopek, nicknamed 'the locomotive', grabbed his first Olympic gold at the London Games in 1948 as he finished first in the 10,000m.

  • real 14k Listen as commentator Rex Alston and Decathlon gold medal winner Bob Matthias remember Zatopek competing at the 1948 Olympics in London.


    Zatopek's greatest achievement came four years later in Helsinki when he became the only athlete in Olympic history to win three gold medals in a single Olympiad.

    He took gold in the 5,000m, 10,000m and the marathon, which he had never run before.

  • real 14k Listen to Harold Abrahams' commentary from the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki of Zatopek winning the gold medal in the 5000m.

  • real 14k Listen to Zatopek talk about competing in the marathon in the 1952 Olympics.

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    See also:

    22 Nov 00 |  Athletics
    Czech legend Zatopek dies
    22 Nov 00 |  Athletics
    Zatopek: An Olympic legend
    22 Nov 00 |  Athletics
    Zatopek: Ahead of his time
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