Steve Prefontaine, seen by some as the United States' finest distance runner, has openly criticized the support his country gives its athletes in international competitions.
SV Start of race, including Prefontaine, on indoor track
TV Prefontaine leads runners aroiund track (2 shots)
GV Runners around track Prefontains speaks
SV PAN Race continues (with Prefontaine's voice over (3 shots)
PREFONTAINE. The athletes are all subsidized in most of the major countries they are taken cars of, they are housed, they are taken care of in training cam and we have nothing. You know, we are, you know, people say "don't worry about it" we will get our gold medals, but if you notice over the last there or four olympics, our gold medals and medals are slowly dwindling and that's all due to the fact that the rest of the world is catching up with us and passing. You know with the energy crisis and all the other things that have been happening in the United states in the last couple of years, it'll make peoples in this country wake up and realize that we've got to get up off our duffs and do something - you know, use your hands or something, do some hard work. That's the only way we're really going to be a number one athletic country in the world. Standardise some rules and make some changes for the better of this country, not just in athletics but in everything.
(Doyle): Prefontaine in the middle of this start, may be the best distance runner America has over produced.
(Doyle): As to the future, Prefontain says he might try the Olympics if things change. Might just try pro-track but doesn't think there's enough money there, or might just retire. But right now, Prefontaine says he's just floating along, and having a good time. This is Larry Doyle reporting.
This film includes a statement by Steve Prefontaine.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMENTARY BY T.V.N. REPORTER LARRY DOYLE IS TRANSCRIBED OVERLEAF AND MAY BE USED VERBATIM.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Steve Prefontaine, seen by some as the United States' finest distance runner, has openly criticized the support his country gives its athletes in international competitions. Talking to TVN reporter Larry Doyle during a recent indoor athletics meeting, Prefontaine claimed that whole athletes in most major countries were receiving active support, from training facilities to sponsorship. there was a "laissez-faire" attitude towards American athletes.
The holder of the indoor two-mile record said "hard work" and some "changes for the better" were necessary to make the United States a leading force in world athletics once again.
The Olympic Games and the Olympics Committee came under fire from Prefontaine, who was a competitor in the 5,000 metres in Munich. He hopes some changes and standardization of rule will be made, and might consider computing in the 1976 Games, if the present situation is altered.
Looking to the future, Prefontaine may turn to professional athletics but at present he does not think the rewards are great enough. There's also the possibility that he might retire. Right now, Steve Prefontaine says he is taking life as it comes, and having a good time.
A Consistent sub-four minuts miler, Prefontaine holds the U.S. Indoor two-mile record and is an Olympic veteran. But the Olympics were not for Prefontaine. The struggle and the horror at munich, Prefontaine finished fourth in the five-thousand metres, and then took time off from running. Back now, Prefontains remembers Munich vividly, and is highly critical of the Olympic Games and the Olympic committee.