Running Tales

Shaun Lightman: ‘When they sent us to the Mexico Olympics the papers were saying we could die’

February 19, 2021

Race walker Shaun Lightman's incredible international career peaked when he represented Great Britain at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

Competing in the 50kms walk, it was as challenging a race as it is possible to imagine.

Press reports before the team left for Mexico suggested athletes might die due to the heat and altitude, once there Shaun found himself out of breath climbing the stairs and, when race day came, he battled extreme temperatures, raced along streets lined by armed soldiers and found himself passing competitors slumped exhausted at the side of the road.

I spoke to Shaun about how he manged to keep going, his race walking career, how he got into the sport and what he makes of its popularity now...



Photography provided by Shaun Lightman and taken by Mark Easton




The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

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