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Peter Snell, triple Olympic champion, dies at age 80

Multi-time Olympic medallist and former world record holder Peter Snell passed away on Thursday

New Zealand’s 1964 Olympic 800m and 1,500m champion Peter Snell died on Thursday at the age of 80. Snell was a former mile and 800m world record holder, before becoming the only man since 1964 to win the Olympic 800 and 1,500m double.

In that 1964 800m Olympic final, Canadian Bill Crothers claimed the silver.

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According to World Athletics, Snell retired from professional running in 1965 and moved to the US in 1971, where he studied human performance and exercise physiology. In 2000 he was voted New Zealand’s athlete of the century.


Fellow New Zelander and Olympic medallist Nick Willis tweeted that Snell’s loss will be felt by his country’s running community. “I don’t know what to say really. Just reading his name says greatness to me. He is the greatest ever. Absolute dominance in his era, and 55 years later would still be a medal favourite. Thanks for inspiring generations of New Zealanders. You will be greatly missed.”

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