In arguably the best piece written about centenarian (and world’s oldest) marathoner Fauja Singh, Jordon Conn of ESPN provides a touching biography of the inspirational figure:
Once he got going, he had to listen to cries of “Osama!” and “Saddam!” from the crowd. The pack pulled away, and Fauja slipped behind, stopping every so often for rest and medical treatment. Blisters formed, and soon they burst, the blood filling Fauja’s sock. His run became a walk; his walk became a hobble. With his foot throbbing, Fauja shouted in Punjabi to whoever could hear, “Just chop it off!” Paramedics trailed close behind, but whenever they asked whether he needed help, Fauja just waved them away. He would finish, and would show Americans what kind of men wore turbans atop their heads.
In January, the 101 year-old Fauja Singh (joined by 96-year-old Maan Kaur from Chandigarh, India) ran a mini-marathon in Chandigarh to raise awareness for women’s rights and competed in a marathon in Australia two weeks ago. A two-time Olympic torchbearer, Fauja Singh has announced that he will retire from marathons after competing in the Hong Kong Marathon this weekend, in which he raised over USD$20,000 for a Hong Kong charity that helps disabled athletes.
Read the full article recounting Fauja Singh’s life at ESPN.