Photos: Your Favorite Summer Olympian- page 3 | Summer Olympics | Smithsonian
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(Cheryl Carlin)

Photos: Your Favorite Summer Olympian

Recall the athletes who capture our imaginations every four years and let us know who is your favorite

Steve Prefontaine, Track and Field

Steve Prefontaine, Track and Field
(© Colorsport/Corbis)
One can only speculate the heights Steve Prefontaine could have achieved if it weren’t for the car crash that caused his untimely death at the age of 24. Prefontaine attended the University of Oregon, where he won seven NCAA titles and every collegiate race from 2000 through 10,000 miles, claiming 14 American records. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Pre’ by his fans, he was often uproariously encouraged by them during his races, and became one of the most beloved athletes in Oregon. He competed in the 1972 Munich games, but did not medal, and was preparing for the 1976 Games at the time of the accident. To this day, he continues to be remembered with the Prefontaine Memorial Run, a grueling 10K race occurring every September. --AV

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