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Legendary British runner Sir Roger Bannister reveals he has Parkinson's disease

Legendary runner, Sir Roger Bannister suffers from Parkinson's Disease.

Sir Roger Bannister, Where Are They Now?

Sir Roger Bannister was the first to run a sub-four-minute mile

Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes, has revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease. The 85-year-old said that he had known he suffered from the disease for over three years now, but chose to reveal it on a BBC Radio interview that celebrated the 60th anniversary of his remarkable achievement.

Bannister ran the Iffey Road track on 6 May, 1954, in a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds, creating a record. In honour of his achievement the track was renamed after him. After an impeccable running career, Bannister became a neurologist.

Speaking to BBC Radio Oxford, Bannister said “I am having trouble with walking. Ironically it is a neurological disorder – Parkinson’s. I have seen and looked after patients with so many neurological and other disorders, that’s why I am not surprised I have acquired an illness. It’s in the nature of things. I am being well looked after and I don’t intend to let it interfere – as much as I can.”

Bannister is looking on the positive side of things, and he added, “Just consider the alternatives – that is the way I look at it. One of my pleasures in life – apart from running – has been walking. Intellectually I am not degenerating and what is walking anyway?”

“I know quite a lot about Parkinson’s and have treated a lot of people with it. I am aware of all the research that’s been done. I think it will take some time before there is a breakthrough. But the management and drug treatments are improving all the time.”

Bannister had a remarkable career during which he won gold medals at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in the 1 mile event along with gold at the European Championships in 1954 in Berlin in the 1500 metres and bronze in 1950 in Brussels in the 800 metres.

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