His achievements are recalled on the one-year anniversary of his death.
Tossing around superlatives like “the best” and the “greatest ever” can be dangerous for writers covering the sport of running.
But in the case of the late Kenyan Olympic gold medalist in the marathon, Sammy Wanjiru, these terms are warranted.
One year ago yesterday, Sammy Wanjiru died. The circumstances surrounding his passing remain shrouded in mystery.
ESPN’s Shaun Assael recently wrote a lengthy article about Wanjiru’s life.
At the 2008 Olympic Games, Wanjiru recalled how he had forgotten his race shoes in Kenya. “I had a lot on my mind and was pretty nervous, but as soon as I started, I forgot about it all,” said Wanjiru. “The only thing I thought was, ‘Who cares, let’s go!'”
On that extremely warm and humid day, Wanjiru clocked a stunning 2:06:32, which obliterated the Olympic record and is arguably one of the best marathon performances of all time.
Upon returning home, Wanjiru was greeted by 30,000 cheering fans that packed Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
For More: ESPN