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83 World Records - Where is it?



If this stadium could talk it would have lots of stories to tell - of Jim Thorpe winning two Olympic gold medals, the 35,000 fans who watched the Rolling Stones in 1995, or Greg Duplantis' 6.16 in the pole vault last year.


In 1986 this stadium hosted Norwegian Ingrid Kristiansen when she broke the world mark in the 5K with a 14:37.33, Patrick Sjoberg's 2.42 high jump in 1987, and Wilson Kipketer when he tied the WR in the 800 with a 1:41.73.


Ferdinand Mamade of Portugal set the 10K mark of 27:13.81 in 1984 on this same oval, nine years later Richard Chelimo running 27:07.91 on the 25-lapper to break it again.


No, it's not Bislett Stadium in Oslo. They only had sixty-one - highlighted by the two Sebastian Coe set (800 and Mile) inside of twelve days - a third world record in the 1000m on that same track just thirty-three days later.


And it's not Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich - they had a measly 25 despite the beneficial affects of altitude (1439') in the sprints, jumps, and throws.


Or in Mexico City at 7349' above sea level where they had fourteen world records, certainly the most at any Olympic site - but their grand total doesn't even surpass twenty-five.


Maybe the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels? Nope. They have less than fifteen. And at the Raul Guidobaldi Stadium in Rieta Italy it's only eight, while at Stade Louis II in Monocco the number is just seven.


If you haven't guessed already the stadium is...


Stockholm. Like John Houston's line in Chinatown that "Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough" any stadium over 100 years old has certainly improved the odds.


Yet eighty-three is an astounding number nonetheless, especially when Stockholm doesn't have the luxury of altitude, warm weather, or a tradition in a specific area like Oslo does in the mid and distance races.


As I did on Friday, and do every time I'm in Stockholm, I walked up Sturegatan to the 1912 Olympic stadium, stopping at the bronze commemorative plaque to honor what this facility has contributed to our sport.


There are other European facilities I would like to see (Zurich and Monaco) in the near future, yet I feel fortunate to have cheered the runners at one (1984 10K) of the eighty-three world records at this revered stadium.



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