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PIETRI Dorando (1885 - 1942) Italy / Track and field
This diminutive Italian runner was about to win the Olympic marathon in London in 1908 when he suffered a blackout and collapsed only a few hundred metres from the finishing line. Since he was a long way ahead of his rivals members of the public and the officials helped him to the finishing line. The stewards however were inflexible: he was relegated and the prize went to the American Hayes.The little pastry cook from Capri was never to become Olympic champion, but he was rewarded on the day after his marathon by Queen Alexandra who gave him a gold cup in recognition of his effort.
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