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LIVE with Jeff Galloway - the Munich Olympics and tales about Prefontaine

March 21, 2024 Carissa Galloway and John Pelkey Season 1 Episode 44
321 GO!
LIVE with Jeff Galloway - the Munich Olympics and tales about Prefontaine
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Step back in time with us as we relive the poignant and powerful Olympic journey of runner and coach Jeff Galloway amid the energy of Atlanta. Our special episode, recorded with a live studio audience during the Jeff Galloway weekend, takes you through the highs and lows—from his electrifying qualification for the 1972 Olympics to the intense race that tested his limits. Jeff paints a vivid picture of training with the legendary Bill Bowerman, the friendships formed, and the life lessons learned, transporting you to a time of pure athletic pursuit.

The thrill of competition is matched by the emotion of Jeff's Olympic race story, where overtraining and illness cast shadows over athletic dreams. The conversation takes a somber turn as we remember the Black September incident and its impact on the athletes and the Games. Yet, in the midst of challenge, Jeff's narrative is punctuated with moments of lightness—family support, the unexpected presence of Bing Crosby, and the cherished Olympic tradition of pin trading that even Steve Prefontaine couldn't escape.

As the episode unfolds, the spirit of the Olympics comes alive with tales of international camaraderie and Jeff's personal reflections on the legendary Steve Prefontaine. The legacy of "Pre" continues to inspire runners today, and we honor his memory with stories of his tenacity, empathy, and unyielding passion for the sport. Join us for this unique blend of personal anecdotes, historical insights, and the electric atmosphere of our first live recording—an experience that we invite you to be a part of as we continue to bring more inspiring stories and guests to the forefront.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to 3, 2, 1 go the podcast.

Speaker 2:

I'm John pelki and I'm Karissa galloway, and we're bringing you stories from start to finish to keep the everyday athlete motivated to keep moving towards the next finish. Okay, well, we are here in Atlanta as part of the Jeff galloway weekend and we're going to talk to none other than Jeff galloway see what we did there.

Speaker 2:

So we're usually introduce our guests. We're going to play a little game, this time introducing our guest. John is not aware of the game don't know what the game is so. There's no price for winning with a competition between John and I and thanks of a grateful nation.

Speaker 1:

That's what we're going to get introduced.

Speaker 2:

You have to say a fact about Jeff. That's true until one of us runs out of the facts. Who or true? All right, so I'll start. 1972 Olympian.

Speaker 1:

Florida State graduate. I wasn't sure.

Speaker 2:

Creator of the run off run message.

Speaker 1:

Only Olympian to ever take part in an Olympics with someone from my high school.

Speaker 2:

I'm a veteran father I think.

Speaker 1:

Official training consultant for run Disney.

Speaker 2:

Grandfather.

Speaker 1:

Enjoy your of military history and history as a global thing.

Speaker 2:

For the record holder of the 10 mile.

Speaker 1:

But you're gonna say former American Idol, the season I missed. Good, good, good on you, grandfather.

Speaker 2:

I said Good job.

Speaker 3:

Well, you told me more about myself than I know.

Speaker 2:

All right. Well, we are excited to be here with a man who's all those things and more Olympian, jeff Galloway. That was thank you, okay, all right, today we're going to talk about narrow it down, because there's so much that you can talk about. You have such a wealth of knowledge. We're going to talk about your Olympic experience and we're at the good, the bad. Your journey to making the Olympic team is a tremendous story, which a lot of you might have heard. We're not going to tell that story today. We're going to save that for another time. But you can actually hear the story of Jeff Jeff's Olympic trials on his podcast. You can do it. You can look that up. It's there on all worth of all the podcast platforms. Most of us who grew up watching the Olympics right. Right, it was a huge. It was a huge deal. It's so exciting. The Olympics are such a special event. It's always a highly anticipated that. When you made that Olympic team and you knew you were going to the Olympics, what did that feel like?

Speaker 3:

It was the most exhilarating experience of my life and it was only exceeded by Mary and Barbara, but but it was something that I did not expect to achieve and to have it unfold and just have a series of benefits as a result of. That is something that at first overwhelmed me and then just allowed me to have a different perception of myself and what my capabilities would be.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to jump off script for a minute because I know. I would have had you tried to qualify prior to that. Was that your first time to qualify? I didn't want to qualify in 68.

Speaker 3:

It was not only my first attempt to qualify for the Olympics, it was my first international competition period. Wow, I just competed at the national level. It was also my first trip to Europe. So you know it was just a lot of things all at once to assimilate and you know I was overwhelmed in a good way and that sort of distracted me from the competitive part of it. I made some mistakes, ok.

Speaker 1:

Well, let's, let's just talk about the. For those of you who might not know 1972, munich, germany, the Olympics. What was it like getting there? The travel, the logistics? Because we talk a lot, we have a lot of run Disney people here. We talk about the logistics of a run Disney race. What about the logistics for for the Olympics team playing, how to get there, the athletes village, all of those sort of things.

Speaker 3:

It was done very differently than it has ever been done before, due to our Olympic coach, bill Bowerman, who is just a favorite leader of mine Period, not just in in athletics but in life itself. Quite a guy. The bottom line is that he studied everything he did. He was a World War two veteran and quite an effective leader in World War two, which really imprinted him for life, and whatever he got into as a project, he put lots of time to organize it. In this case, the way he organized our tour was wonderful for us because it was an extended tour. We first of all met in Bowdoin College for a week. I trained there, that's in Maine.

Speaker 3:

Did we all?

Speaker 2:

know that was in Maine. Thank you, it seemed like it was common knowledge.

Speaker 1:

I have some really great Civil War trivia about that, but we'll stay away from the end, okay.

Speaker 3:

It's actually where Joanie Benoit went to school later on. She had not gone to the school yet and there were a lot of things that happened there that were interesting, funny and whatever. It's where we got our uniforms and we. So we squared away and got to know one another a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Was this just the distance, guys, or was the whole team?

Speaker 3:

is the whole team. Now, it was not the, it was just the men's team. The women's team did not go there, and one of the things that really a lot of people don't understand is that when you make an Olympic team or any national team in running, you really have not trained or been with a lot of these people for many days. You see them for an hour at most at events in most cases. So we really got to know one another. During this tour we were a week in Maine, we were three weeks in Norway and then we were three weeks in Munich and I loved it because I love the history, I love getting into that and going to places and and seeing amazing things as a result of that and running really interesting places. But Bowerman is the one that put that that together, along with my friend Frank Shorter's, coach from Yale, and they really had a wonderful tour situation put together.

Speaker 1:

I have one quick follow up of it, because you said was your first time to Europe for an Olympic team members, the US government help you getting your passport and all of that sort of thing, or is that something you had to do on your own?

Speaker 3:

I. We had to get them on our own. Wow yeah, they didn't help us at all with that. There were a lot of things that we did back then on our own. It was before professionalism, so there weren't any agents to do these things right. So forth, interesting.

Speaker 2:

Was that your first time meeting and working with Bowerman?

Speaker 3:

Yes, do you guys?

Speaker 2:

know who Bowerman is. Famed coach, give us a quick 3 Senate's Bowerman.

Speaker 3:

Bowerman was. He was already a legendary coach and he had coached numerous national champions, numerous Olympians, and he had a reputation for being able to take somebody that had slightly above average ability and make them into world class, and he did so with human types of things. He didn't really berate his athletes. He would call them to the carpet if they stepped over the line, but and you never wanted to be in that situation but he really motivated you and you wanted to perform for him. On the other hand, he was either loved or hated by the athletes, because the athletes that he came down on because they violated the rules, were not treated very well. But his reputation Was really based on so many of his athletes, including my various friends Kenny Moore, who ran the marathon, and Steve pre-fantane he was coach at Oregon.

Speaker 2:

That's what I was. Okay, so you get. You're in Norway. Which Epcot? We've all been to Norway.

Speaker 1:

You write the water ride now you've arrived in Munich. There's the frozen stuff, so it's hot.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so then you're in. You're in Munich. What's your first impression? At the Olympic Village, at the Olympics, you know what did that feel like?

Speaker 3:

we Took the better part of a day to process and you know they. We had to wait in these long lines at the Edmund building to get our Pictures taken and then to have the ID made and I still have my ID and get our keys for the dorm and then they arranged us in Groupings. But there were some long waits outside the Edmund building and one of the interesting sidelines of that is that Bill Bowerman was Walking at the edge of our perimeter there at the Edmund building looking at the fences and stuff. So I went over to ask him, said Bill, what, what are you doing here? And he said you know, ever since World War two, whenever I'm in a foreign country, I like to see what the security is, and these guys have a lot to do if they really want to be secure. He was concerned right from the get-go.

Speaker 2:

It's very interesting foreshadowing as well as we'll go Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

There was a concern in Germany, if I can jump in here, because it was really 27 years after the end of the Second World War, that's right and what they didn't want to appear was militaristic in any way, shape or form and there were. We can get into all of that later with the police I'm allowed to have automatic weapons or not and all that sort of thing but that was a big concern of them and one of the reasons a lot of people think that the security wasn't what it should have been several of the governmental officials in Germany wanted to call this the happiness Olympics.

Speaker 1:

For that reason, All right, let's get. Let's get to competition stuff and let's start with working your way up to competition day. What was, what was it like? Getting to that day? Your practice schedule, what, what day did you run? You know it's a two-week event. You could run day two or, you know, two weeks later. So what was that like working up to your actual competition?

Speaker 3:

my event, the ten thousand meter, and again, that's another story, but the bottom line is that it was early in the season, early in the schedule, and that was Really a good thing for me. I really wanted to go. I had been working extremely hard. It turns out it was too hard. I'd gotten a really bad cold and and was suffering from that and I just wanted to raise and and they had a practice track that was right next to the stadium and had a Tunnel that would allow you to go into the stadium and that's where I did my workouts and I had several really fun and exciting sessions when World record holders in the distance events would be working out on the track and I got to run with them and so forth. And in the dining hall they would. Some of these people would be sitting down for dinner and I would just Sit next to them and they would talk and tell me what they were doing and I was in heaven.

Speaker 2:

I mean, it was fabulous so, leading up to this, you're you're gonna do the 10k. For those who know the story is better event was the marathon. So you weren't supposed to make the US team in the 10k. You did. You intended to run the marathon and swap with your friend. You weren't able to do that. So talk us through race day. How much do you remember of that morning warming up?

Speaker 3:

You know, take it to, take us through the day well, there were some incidents that occurred, as do in every Olympics, and one of them was we had some sprinters on our team that did not make it to the bus to take them to the stadium, and, as a result of that, the Coach that was assigned to distance runners Was constantly honest to say you know, you need to be at the bus here, but those of us who were running the 10k were more laid back than than the sprinters, of course, and so we got in a run early in the morning Just to warm the legs up. That was a loop that we had around the stadium, the whole complex. There is about a five mile, really really easy run, and the afternoon we had our race, and so we Got our meals, and I was so nervous I really didn't eat anything.

Speaker 2:

Was that typical for you before race?

Speaker 3:

It wasn't. Yeah, it was actually.

Speaker 2:

Jeff Galloway gets nervous.

Speaker 3:

I was. I really was, and it was something that had based on what had happened, because I had eaten eating the wrong things or eating a little too much before and so I avoided food, and that did away with my problems.

Speaker 1:

All right, let's talk about the race itself. Take us through that. I know you didn't have you mentioned you'd over trained. You really weren't probably at your best that day. Take us through that race and how it out unfolded well, I had had Mostly good workouts.

Speaker 3:

As a matter of fact, I had a workout that I ran partially with pre about three or four days before my race and it had gone really well. I mean what pre-fantane Did with most of his teammates like me, when we ran together, as he would test us and he would always Start out the race at just a gentle pace to sort of suck you in, and then he would slowly pick up the pace so that you didn't realize the pace was picking up, and He'd get you to a point when he could tell that you were under duress and and I was able to respond to that. But Unfortunately, as a result of really working myself Extremely hard with the cold, it took an awful lot out of me, but I sort of ignored the fact that I had over done it and I was determined that I was going to make it to the final and I had to get out of the prelims in order to do that. So the race we're out there on the track and it's 80,000 people in the stands. It's an absolutely Exciting event.

Speaker 3:

I was Well beyond any level of excitement that I've ever had, but I was confident. I was confident and so the gunfires and I Assumed my usual position in the back of the pack. This is the way I ran my races and what it allowed me to qualify for the Olympics. And I started to work my way up after about two miles into the race and and my legs were just trashed. They, they would not respond, and it was just so frustrating I backed off and then I tried to mount another effort and it just didn't happen, and so I just hung on, hung on to finish and, and it was just extremely disappointing experience, but it really imprinted me and set me on a Motivational goal for the next Olympics right away. I mean, I was already thinking of Four years later. I was gonna be there, I was gonna do it in terms of an effort level, I think the 10k is just an awful race.

Speaker 2:

Effort level wise when you finish that race. How much, how much discomfort were you in in that race, cardiovascularly, in physically, and when did that start?

Speaker 3:

Well, first of all, carissa, it's only 25 laps, it's in the summer, yes, exactly. Well, to answer your question, I was under duress at about the halfway point, and a lot of the duress deals with my Motivation clinic about how your psychological stress affects your physical stress, and in major ways. And I realize now that because I was under duress and and Didn't feel like I could really perform the way I did, that everything started going in a negative spiral down. My legs started tightening up more than I really felt that they should have, and I just tried to cope with getting through that race, and so my whole mindset at the time was just survival at that point.

Speaker 2:

So if the Jeff Galloway now ran that race and had the same physical issues happening, would mentally you have tackled it differently?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I would have backed off more early. There were a couple places when I tested myself during the first half of the race and I think that took a lot more out of me than it should have and later on caused me to slow down even more.

Speaker 2:

Highlights of the event. One of my favorite highlights that you talk about is your mom, your family, that was there what was your mom and their family's favorite part about being in that stadium in Munich.

Speaker 3:

Well, one of the benefits of being on the Olympic team, especially in the preliminary events, is that we were able to get some tickets for our relatives, and in my case there were two tickets available in an excellent session and placement in the stadium. It wasn't right on the 50-yard line, right at the rail or anything, but it wasn't very far back of that, and so the way I learned about this because I didn't know where the tickets were or what type of a section it was until later when I saw them after the race, when we had dinner that evening. But when I walked into the restaurant my mother and my grandmother were giddy. I mean, they were talking about the race and I was wondering what the heck is this? I ran so poorly and they're happy and giddy and so forth. Well, it turns out that right behind them was Bing Crosby and his family and they were talking about that and they talked about that. The rest of the Olympics.

Speaker 2:

Oh did you run that race Because I was asking Bing to sing White Christmas.

Speaker 1:

Hey, that Galloway boy, he can move Bad Bing Crosby, I apologize, All right. Well, let's talk about the elephant in the room, the 72 Munich Olympics, so remembered. Sadly, not for Mark Spitz, not for you being there at the 10,000 meters, my high school friend Meddling, but the Black September group takes the Israeli athletes hostages. If anybody doesn't know, Google it. As an athlete there competing, how did you find out about what was going on? Because there's some interesting dichotomy video I've seen of that happening, and then people just strolling through the village as if nothing was going on. How did you find out? How close were you to that situation?

Speaker 3:

Well, I've also done some research and been able to talk to several of my friends, athletes, since At the time we didn't really talk a lot about what we had learned, mainly because the Germans cut off communication within the village. You and America were knowing more about what was going on than we did because ABC was there, because they were the preferred network of the Olympics, and so the people who were used to sports were having to do real news over there, which was plus and minus, but it had news, at least people there in the village and being able to report, and there were some really mixed reviews on that. But to answer your question, I know I had rumors from athletes that something was going on. That wasn't right. That was what was said, and what happened with us in our suite is that a group of five of us every morning would go out and run around the village, the five mile loop around the village, and that morning we went down to the gate that we usually use, which was a back gate and very rarely had anybody there. As a matter of fact, there was actually one day in which the corporal in the German army was asleep. He was absolutely dead asleep, even though he was supposed to guard that gate, that back gate.

Speaker 3:

But that day things were different. There was a catwalk above the gate and there were about 10 guards with sub-machine guns walking on top of that. And then there was a big crowd on the other side, and because that was a back gate that was used by VIPs, we were thinking, well, there's probably some dignitary that was going to be coming through that gate and that's why they're there. So we make our way through the gate and then we enter this crowd. Turns out it was reporters, and they started to fire in questions at us. They were like see, did you hear the shots? And we had no idea that this is what the rumors were about, that something had really happened. And so we had to ask them and they told us oh, there are some athletes that got killed and there are some hostages in there, and so forth, and we're trying to find out what's going on. Do you know anything? No, we didn't know anything.

Speaker 3:

So then we start on our five-mile loop around there, and one of the five of us is my brother, Charlie. Now, Charlie was not on the Olympic team, but he came in the very first day to visit me, and that was the first time that those of us in my resident unit had really been together, and so we were just getting to know one another and we were sharing stories about how we got there and all this sort of stuff. And Charlie was a very affable guy and he was sharing his stories and I could tell people liked him. So by the time we got through with this hour-and-a-half BS session there, Charlie asked my roommates there if they minded if he slept out on the balcony, and I'm sure that they assumed for that evening while Charlie was thinking for the whole Olympics, and that's what he did. Good for Charlie, Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

Good for Charlie, so he ran with us every morning, and as we were out there running around there, we suddenly got this cumulative experience.

Speaker 3:

The other four of us hey, all of us have credentials to get back in, except for Charlie. So then you know 20-something males, how are we going to beat the system? And so we conspired about various things we could do, and what we decided upon is that there was one entrance that we had used periodically, and that was the motor pool area, which is underneath the village, where the supply trucks came in and they had toll booth type places where the trucks would check in, and that's where we had shown our credentials. So the strategy was I was wearing my USA shirt, so I peeled it off and gave it to Charlie, and I ran up to the toll booth and showed him my credential and I said he's with us, and Charlie showed his USA and they just waved us right in. Wow, this was a shock to us, really, because we really thought that they would shut things down more than that, and they didn't not, initially anyway.

Speaker 1:

It brings up a good question and you know Monday morning quarterback, anything like this because, and you guys probably were not aware the discussions involved with what were they going to do with the rest of the games? Were they going to shut the games down? And if any of you have ever been involved with, like big events and things, so many moving pieces go into that sort of thing, and the thinking was, if we do this, will we cause a panic or something that would be worse, or do we now need to once the whole thing played out? Should we shut it down? In retrospect? As an athlete who was there, how do you feel about the decision that was made? Howard Cosell notoriously went after the IOC, equating them to William of Orange. Google it In retrospect as an athlete who was there. The decision that was made to continue with the games.

Speaker 3:

I'm with William of Orange, of course. No, the movie Pre-Fontaine one of two movies made about Steve's life, but the one that's labeled Pre-Fontaine portrayed the experience quite well and was actually involved in the structuring of that scene in the movie.

Speaker 3:

Basically it shows Bowerman at his best because he said he had a meeting of us and he said you know, there's a lot of stuff going on here and I want to get your opinions about things. And he legitimately did. This was not a talking to us, it was letting us talk and he would feed certain things in it. And that scene is in the movie and this is one of the scenes where the Jeff Galloway character comes up and what had happened was Bowerman said look, there's a movement up front to cancel the rest of the games because of what happened and because of security concerns and also the loss of life and commemorating the lives of the athletes that were lost. And I had this gut feeling and I immediately raised my hand and was recognized and I said if we do that, they win. And that's the way that I felt after the Boston bombers, the way the incident occurred in Atlanta and the Twin Towers and so forth, and it was guttural and it was powerful.

Speaker 1:

Because that would have perhaps even been a bigger victory for them than whatever victory they felt that they were getting from them Absolutely right, and the kidnapping, that's the way they're right.

Speaker 2:

How did you feel? The mood and everything shifted after that happened in the Olympic Games. Did you lose the joy of being there?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. That's a very good perception because to that point there was a feeling in that village that I've never felt before, since I mean, here are the best athletes in the world and they're under psychological pressure performing. But you go to the dining hall you see people walking by and they had generally pleasant looks on their faces and you talk to people and they had some positive thought, even though they were under stress and so forth. And after the incident people weren't talking much to one another and you saw stern looks on people's faces and there just wasn't that same feeling there. It was down to business at that point and the business was let's do our event and let's get home.

Speaker 1:

It's interesting in hearing other athletes who had been there talk about it. It motivated them to perform better. And then others just psychologically said it ruined how my performance. And I think lucky is the wrong word. But you have to be probably in some way happy that your event was before any of that happened, because I gave you probably a much greater experience than you would have had, even given the tragedy.

Speaker 3:

And let me give you another insight into Bill Bowerman. When the incident occurred, when the terrorists broke into the Israeli rooms, there were several Israeli athletes that were in an adjacent room to where they broke in who heard it going on and realized there was something really bad going on and they bolted and jumped out the window. And one of them was a fellow that I knew, a guy named Shal Lodani, who was a race walker for the Israeli team. He lived in America and had for, I think, all his life, but he qualified for the Israeli team and yet he came over and he visited with us a lot during that period before the incident occurred and he knew right where Bill Bowerman's room was. So at four o'clock in the morning he's running over there directly to Bowerman and pounding on the door, and Bowerman, who hadn't gotten much sleep the whole time anyway, comes to the door and, bleary eyed, what's going on? And Lodani says they've broken into our room, they've made us hostage, they've killed our athletes, and Bowerman, in his sense of humor, said tell him to get out.

Speaker 3:

And then he got down to business because he was afraid that something like this was going to happen. And it had happened. And so he calls for an audience with the mayor of the village and he gets it. And the mayor asked him what field caused you these great concerns? And he said well, there are two main reasons World War I and World War II. And then, at the same time, bowerman called his brother-in-law, who was an assistant secretary of state, and he asked for some help with security. And they sent over some Marines from the embassy and they put on their sweatsuits and patrolled the hallways.

Speaker 2:

What I'd like to do before we wrap is if you guys have any questions about Jeff's Olympic experience, we could do a couple of questions from you guys. So does anybody have a question they'd like to ask Jeff about his Olympic experience or the hostile situation or anything?

Speaker 3:

One question Well you said that you got to interact with athletes from other countries. Did you interact with those from other?

Speaker 2:

sports as well. Yeah, did that give you anything? So I'm going to repeat the question. The question was you got to interact with athletes from other countries? Did you interact with athletes from other sports?

Speaker 3:

Yes, we did. It turns out that everybody ate in the same dining hall at the same time. You actually chose when you wanted to and there were people from all types of nationalities and for that reason they had different types of food, some foods that I had never seen before or smelled before for sense. But it was just a microcosm of international life in really a good way. And, yes, all of the events ate in that same place.

Speaker 2:

Were the men and the women together at the dining hall.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Were you trying to talk to the ladies?

Speaker 3:

No.

Speaker 2:

You weren't with Barb then, just to clarify that.

Speaker 3:

No, it was not.

Speaker 2:

Anybody else have a question, jeff, I heard you talk before once about pin training at the Olympics. Can you share a little?

Speaker 3:

bit more about that.

Speaker 2:

Can you talk about it?

Speaker 3:

or just a quick question Pin training at the Olympics was that we do it at.

Speaker 2:

Disney, is that something you did?

Speaker 3:

It is something that I did.

Speaker 3:

Our team organizer had some USA pins and he gave each one of us a certain number of pins that we could trade as part of the experience, and it was a really good experience.

Speaker 3:

I mean, really, we would go to this one particular place that just spontaneously became a pin trading area and you had to walk through that area in order to go to get out of the village if you wanted to go somewhere else, and so forth.

Speaker 3:

So there was one day when Pre and I did a workout together and we wanted to go into town and so he and I started out to head towards the train that was at the other end of the village and we went right through the pin trading area and I had been doing some trading and I sort of looked at the various pins that people had displayed there as I was walking by and I saw a group of pins that I really liked and it was one of them was, it turns out, was an Israeli, and I still wonder if that had been owned by one of the Israeli athletes who passed away. But in any case, pre didn't like that. He said oh, this is BS, this pin trading stuff. These people should be out there training so that they can compete better, and on and on. You know he had things that he didn't like and he told you about it.

Speaker 1:

And I know we have to wrap in a minute. But one thing and I don't think I've ever asked you this off air and I know I haven't on a podcast as an athlete at the Games, did you have entrance into other events and did you actually get to see any of the events?

Speaker 3:

The only other event that we could see for free was soccer. It was the two events, the track and field, which was called athletics by the way, in the Olympics track and field is called athletics and soccer was played in the same stadium. So those were the two. Highly well, there were more seats available for athletes. Basically that's what it was. We could not get into any of the other venues free except for weightlifting, and at least at the time, hardly anybody went to that event, and so you know they didn't really.

Speaker 1:

You'd seen the famous Russian one it's Vasily Alexov.

Speaker 3:

I thought they knew he was one of the most famous athletes of the early and mid-70s. He was and there weren't many people interested in going to see it.

Speaker 3:

But there was an incident that occurred that highlights the desire that we had. One of my roommates was a guy named Bob Wheeler, from Duke, and he had a great skill as a draftsman, I mean and what he decided to do is forge a pass to get into swimming. He wanted to see Mark Spitz, who was just the, at the time the greatest swimmer of all time, absolutely, and he wanted to get in there. And so he forged this pass that had the swimming logo and it was done so well that he got in the first three days of the competition and then the one fateful day he was going to get in there, and what he did is he had his USA jacket on which I still have, and it had a USA patch, and he took some of the USA pins and he stapled his credential that had scotch taped over the swimming logo instead of the track and field logo, and it stuck up there because swimmers were allowed to go.

Speaker 3:

They had a swimmer's place for them. And so he gets up to the guard and, you know, just sort of wave the way he had for three days in a row and gotten through, and the guard didn't like the looks of that thing. So he grabs the guy and he's a big guard, huge hand, and grabbed his arm and he grabbed it really well. Wheeler, who had 48 second 400 meter speed, was ready to take off in any second but he wasn't able to.

Speaker 3:

And the guard grabs his credential and rips it out and he sees the forging of it, and so he calls for reinforcements. And just at that time there were a group of athletes four or five athletes, I think, from Italy, somewhere like Europe, that were trying to bust into the gate as a group, and so the guard released Wheeler and he took off at 48 second speed and got away.

Speaker 2:

All right, we're just about to wrap, but I have one final question to give you a little platform. You've mentioned Steve Prefontein several times. He was maybe one of your best friends. Do you want to say just a little bit about him before we wrap?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, pre was a good friend and we actually had a lot of things that we were working on before he passed away in a traffic accident that is still not known and the movie tells about this. It's a good movie and the casting of Prefontein is really great, so you do get a feel for him. He was just really intense and he was so focused on becoming the best athlete in the world that that was what he did and he lived it. He lived his life as a competitor and he looked at other competitors as rivals and he really didn't get to know a lot of people because of that, because he built walls between him and other people Not so with me and the reason is he knew that he could whip my butt in the middle of it, so I was no threat to him and I was like a big brother to him, because I was four years older than he and we had really good runs together and we had good times together and we became close in a lot of different ways.

Speaker 2:

And you guys were still close when he passed away.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. The year that I had my very first running retreat at Lake Tahoe was 1975, and in May of that year I had already been talking to Pre about some possibilities for bringing him in to clinics at my store and some other stores that were friends of mine, not running stores but other types of stores. Anyway, he had talked to my best, true best friend in life, who was the number three employee at Nike, jeff Hollister, about being involved in some Nike promotions in these stores, and so we had been talking about this, and so I met Pre at an event in May. That was right before he had a series of races in Oregon in which he brought over the Finnish athletes to compete against US athletes, particularly Oregonians, in Oregon, and it was in Berkeley where we ran that race, and I saw him in the athlete tent where we picked up our credentials and he said Galloway, I've got something to show you.

Speaker 3:

So he goes over to his bag and he picks out this card and he just sort of tosses it at me, and so I pick it up off the ground and it's a Nike logo business card. He had been trying to get a real job at Nike for a long time and all they did is just hire him to do promotions. And I look at this card and it says National Director of Public Affairs. He had been given his job and sadly he wasn't able to work at that job because two weeks later he died. But we sat down and we talked about what we could do, started planning and so forth. And you don't know how many, many times I have gone through that memory in my brain of what we could have done and so forth. But you know, things happen.

Speaker 2:

How can we? This is the last question. I'm sorry that was the last question, but I want to end on a positive note. Prey is known for running all out, all in, all the time, against the advice of his coaches. But how can we live like Prey when we race and do it smartly?

Speaker 3:

Well, in terms of competition, to be able to focus on what you're capable of doing and then bring that out of you is what Prey was all about, and he put himself on the line in his workouts and then in his races, and he would fail. And then he'd learn from that and he would never give up, never, never, would pre-give up. It didn't matter how bad he felt or whether he made mistakes or whatever. So those are the major takeaways, but I do want to tell one more story, and that was the same year that he died, but a little bit earlier than the Berkeley incident. I had flown in to Oregon, to Eugene, for some clinics that my friend, jeff Hollister, director of Promotions, had set up, and so I got into town and early the next morning Jeff loaded this up in his VW bus and we took off for Southern Oregon and we stopped by to pick up Prey on the way.

Speaker 3:

So we're headed down to Ashland area and Prey is so excited because he's got a really hot date that evening. And so we get down there, we go through the clinics and Prey is telling me now you keep pushing Jeff because he may dilly-dally and I may miss my date. So you know, let's do that. And so we get through in plenty of time. Things are going right on schedule. We do our last clinic and as we're leaving the last school, we're walking away towards the van and the coach at that school comes running out and said that Jeff had a call. And so Jeff goes back in and Prey says, oh my gosh, it's happening here.

Speaker 3:

And sure enough, my friend Jeff comes out and says guys, I hate to tell you this, but I promised this coach that we would come by there. He never got back with me, but he just got back with me. And once we get over there I think you'll understand why I want to do this. So Prey is bad-mouthing Jeff all the way over to this clinic. We get up and it's a juvenile detention facility. So we go inside and the door clanks behind us and there are these kids in there and they're sitting around and you could tell when Prey walked in the room that he is their hero. I mean, you just feel that.

Speaker 3:

And so we get there and they start firing him questions and he starts answering them and I have never seen him as alive and as communicative as he was that day. And it was just a wonderful session, it was amazing, and I'm sure he made a positive impression on those kids. And then we get in the car and it's too late for him to make his date and Prey's not saying a thing For over 10 minutes and that's very unusual. And then I say to him what's going on, prey, and he said if it weren't for running, I could have been one of those kids and he indeed was involved in several initiatives at prisons to get running programs going there. He was maloing his edge and becoming a really conscious person, and that's the thing that we miss most.

Speaker 2:

And it's even more tragic when we think about the parallels of him and Calvin Kipton, who we just lost. Well, record holder, both of them ran very fast all the time and were taken. Who knows what they would have achieved.

Speaker 3:

And a little birdie told me that he actually did come around on the pen trading. Yeah, he did. What happened to finish off the pen trading is that we were walking through there and I started doing a little pen trading and Prey was bad mouthing it and so forth, and then after I get through and trade all my pens so I'm ready to go into town, I look back and Prey is going after it. Whatever he did, he did to the hill and he was into it.

Speaker 2:

Well, how about a big round of applause for our little guys?

Speaker 1:

That was good Thanks. Thanks, Jeff All right athletes.

Speaker 2:

Here's the drill Time to shape up your diet. Harissa, give them the good. All right, john, we had an amazing time with the Jeff Galloway weekend. We will talk a little bit more about that in our chat next week. We'll kind of run through some highs I guess not highs and lows. Maybe let's make a low being hung over. That's a low Spoiler alert for next week.

Speaker 2:

And no, that's not part of this Healthier you message. The Healthier you message is that in our chat with the attendees we did a Q&A session. There were a lot of Healthier you questions and I really enjoyed answering them and I think the one that was the most inspiring and interesting to me was just people talking about like I don't know what to do with my diet, and we linked and linked, linked, liked or linked either of those words to when you don't know what to do, when you're starting off training for a race. So if that's where you feel you are and you're frustrated by your diet and you're frustrated by your body, don't put it as a negative. Join Healthier you and we're going to give you that plan. We're just going to give you that advice and that nudge to make the choices that help you feel good, which is what we all want to do in running, when we all want to feel about our body. So we are here to help you and support you.

Speaker 2:

Gallowaycoursecom. Check it out, jeff, who had some amazing stories in this episode I mean just the coolest stories, you'll know. You'll get a chance to be in a small group chatting with Jeff on our April chat Motivation. You can ask him your training questions. So a really cool, unique opportunity. But you have to sign up by the middle of April. So go to GallowayCoursecom, join Healthier you and use the code Jeff.

Speaker 1:

We also want to thank Sarah Akers with Runs On Magic. As a lover of Disney herself, Sarah always loves helping plan those magical weekends. But the world is your oyster with Sarah's help. Whether you're looking to book a honeymoon getaway, all inclusive girls trip, family cruise, international adventures, whatever it is, she is here and at your service.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, just connect with her and say this is what I want to do and she will help you with complimentary travel planning services, personalized itineraries specialing in run Disney universal cruise, like I just went on, use the promo code 321GO when you request your vacation quote and you'll be entered to win up to a $200 Disney gift card or a booking credit. She's on Instagram at Runs On Magic, where she shares special offers or more, or email her at runsonmagictravelatgmailcom. Thank you guys so much for listening to this very first live studio audience recording with Jeff Galloway. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. If you have ideas for guests, you have questions, you have stories, email us at 321GOpodcast at gmailcom. That was fun, john. Let's do it again real soon.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely lots of fun. Thanks everybody and bye, bye.

Jeff Galloway's Olympic Experience
Olympic Race
Olympic Experience During Hostile Situation
Olympics, Pin Trading, and Friendship
Remembering Pre
Live Studio Audience Recording Debut