When I found out about Fauja Singh for the first time, I was really amazed by this personality. Singh is a 101 year old Punjabi Sikh who holds several world records in running in his age bracket. He was featured in an advertising campaign by Adidas and was the oldest man to be featured in a 2011 campaign by the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Born on April 1, 1911, he could not walk until he was five years old, and even after that, his legs were weak and thin. However, he managed to develop his abilities and became a famous athlete.
How did He start?
Singh was an amateur athlete during his youth, but he gave up his passion later. He returned to running in 1995 after witnessing the death of his son. This loss, together with the death of his wife in 1992 and his eldest daughter, moved him to pursue a new goal in life. Therefore, he took running seriously at the age of 89. He ran his first race, the London Marathon in 2000. He became famous at the age of 93 when he managed to run 26.2 miles distance in 6 hours and 54 minutes, which was 58 minutes faster than the previous world record in the 90-plus age group.
Image Credit: www.dailytelegraph.com.a
Taking into consideration the fact that he rediscovered his passion for running at an old age, Fauja Singh has an impressive list of achievements. He ran the London Marathon five times, Toronto Marathon and Hong Kong Marathon twice, ran the New-York Marathon once. One of his most impressive achievements is the accomplishment of eight world age group records in one day, at the special Ontario Masters Association Fauja Singh Invitational Meet held in Canada. Also, in 2003, Singh was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, becoming the first non-American to receive this award. In July 2012, Singh carried the Olympic Torch. However, despite his impressive successes, Guiness World Records refused to include Singh in its record book, because he could not prove his age, due to the fact that birth certificates were not held in India in 1911.
Image Crdit: http://espn.go.com
Biography Book and Retirement
For those who are interested in Fauja Singh’s life and want to find more details, in 2011 he released his 114-pages biography entitled “Turbaned Tornado”, which was written by columnist and writer Khush want Singh. Fauja Singh declared that he would retire from professional running after participation in the Hong Kong on February 24, 2013. He successfully completed the 10-kilometers marathon, being just five weeks before his 102nd birthday. He intends to continue running only for pleasure health and charity events.
By Norvan Martin