Cougar Cross Country


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Cougar Cross Country

Postby DoubleRBar » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:00 am

Competing for the blue and tan at a university founded in 1875, our birthday athlete for today (Sunday) went on to win four Olympic gold medals over three Olympic Games.

This Olympic champion was born while Harry S Truman was our president.

One of our birthday athlete's gold medals came with a new world record. It was the first such world record in this particular event in Olympic history since Paris (1924).

Shouldn't be very difficult to figure this champion. Go ahead and name our birthday athlete for today.
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby EastBayprepoftheweek67 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:47 pm

Lasse Viren was said to be at BYU one Fall, but did he actually ever compete for them?
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:43 am

EastBayprepoftheweek67 wrote:Lasse Viren was said to be at BYU one Fall, but did he actually ever compete for them?



I had the same thought, but did he compete in Mexico City or Moscow ? Question cites "3 Olympics." But who else could it be ? Gotta be him.
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby gennady » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:37 am

H.Truman - President of US 1945–1953.
Possible Olympiad 1968/1980 and 1972/1984.
Four gold individual's medals during this period has only Viren.
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby DoubleRBar » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:24 am

You got him, EastBayprepoftheweek67. It was Lasse Viren who celebrated his 63rd birthday yesterday. Yes, Lasse ran one season of cross country at BYU before competing in the 1972, 1976, and 1980 Olympics. Good job, dukehjsteve and gennady.
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby EastBayprepoftheweek67 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:39 pm

DoubleRBar wrote:You got him, EastBayprepoftheweek67. It was Lasse Viren who celebrated his 63rd birthday yesterday. Yes, Lasse ran one season of cross country at BYU before competing in the 1972, 1976, and 1980 Olympics. Good job, dukehjsteve and gennady.

DoubleRBar:
No intent to challenge you and the great clues you come up with to make an otherwise dull statistic (birthdays,) interesting, but I am curious: What year and how'd Viren run for BYU - top dog, middle of the pack, conference/NCAA championships?
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby mcgato » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:23 am

I was curious about this too, since I had never heard of Viren attending a US university. I found the following quote in this message board thread:
http://www.runnersworld.com/community/f ... iren-error
Coach Sherald James (cross-country coach when Lasse and Pekka were at BYU in late 1969, early 1970) returned my call last evening. He said they came to BYU to attend school and get some altitude training. They attended and passed classes, trained, but never did compete for BYU. Pekka had a tender achilles that he reinjured in training so he went back to Finland to rehab, and Lasse went with him. Back in those days BYU did have several Finnish athletes including Jakko Tuominen (400H), Pertti Pousi (TJ, LJ).

Edit: that quote actually came from a TFN thread that was included there:
viewtopic.php?t=13862
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby DoubleRBar » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:52 am

I believe that Viren competed on the BYU cross country team for only one season and then returned to Finland. Not sure why he was there for only one semester. I am guessing it would have been around 1970.
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Re: Cougar Cross Country

Postby lovetorun » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:16 pm

That quote from the previous thread was from me. I was on the cross-country team when Vasala and Viren were at BYU and neither one of them ever competed. Viren was more quiet and kind of in the background, kept to himself but I talked to Vasala quite a bit and trained on some long runs with him. He was quite outgoing and funny.
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