Sir Roger Bannister, born on March 23, 1929, is an English former athlete best known for being the first to run the mile in less than four minutes, remarkably while practicing as a junior doctor. This was achieved on May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, with Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher providing the pacing. The resulting time was 3 min. 59.4 sec. Retiring from running shortly after, Bannister went on to become a distinguished neurologist and an important contributor to research into the human nervous system.
Clare Balding looks back at the time the Olympic Games came to London in 1948. Three years after the end of the Second World War, Britain was still gripped by austerity. Rationing was still in force, severe bomb damage was still much in evidence, and no new sports facilities could be built. Visiting athletes were put up in schools and RAF camps. Yet the Games were a resounding success and actually made a profit.