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Medal record
Men's Athletics
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Silver 1936 Berlin 1,500 metres

Glenn V. Cunningham (August 4, 1909 – March 10, 1988) was an American distance runner and athlete considered by many the greatest American miler of all time. He received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States in 1933.

Cunningham set a world record for the mile and indoor world records for the 1.500 meters and the mile. He was on the 1932 and 1936 Olympic teams. In the 1,500-meter final at the 1936 Games in Berlin, Cunningham ran faster than the world record but was beaten by New Zealand's Jack Lovelock and received the silver medal. Cunningham retired from running after the 1940 Olympic Games were canceled.

Born in Elkhart, Kansas, Cunningham was nick-named the "Kansas Flyer", the "Elkhart Express" and the "Iron Horse of Kansas".

Cunningham's legs were very badly burned in a schoolhouse fire when he was eight and his brother Floyd was ten. Floyd died in the schoolhouse. When the doctors recommended amputating Glenn's legs, he was so distressed his parents wouldn't allow it. The doctors predicted he might never walk normally again. He had lost all the flesh on his knees and shins and all the toes on his left foot. Also, his transverse arch was practically destroyed. However, his great determination, coupled with the hours of massages given him by his parents, enabled him to gradually regain the ability to walk and to proceed to run. It was in the early summer of 1919 when he first tried to walk again, roughly two years after the accident. He had a positive attitude as well as a strong religious faith. His favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Cunningham has a park named after him in his hometown of Elkhart, Kansas.

A very special INTERVIEW SPOTLIGHT is featured on [1] to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Glenn Cunningham's birth.

External links

Preceded by
United Kingdom Thomas Hampson
United States Ben Eastman
Men's 800 metres World Record Holder
August 8, 1936 – July 11, 1937
Succeeded by
United States Elroy Robinson
Preceded by
New Zealand Jack Lovelock
Men's Mile World Record Holder
June 16, 1934 – August 28, 1937
Succeeded by
United Kingdom Sydney Wooderson


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