In part one of our training talk with US hammer throwing legend Ed Burke we talked about how he started out in the event and developed into one of the top throwers in the world. After reaching the top of the sport and making his second Olympic team, Burke abruptly retired in 1968. But the retirement was not permanent and he came back to the sport and threw a personal best of 74.34 meters and made another Olympic team at the age of 44. Then, after retiring again, he came back two decades later to compete as a master’s athlete and set several world records.
Part two discusses why he left the sport and why it kept calling him back.
Martin: Both after the 1968 and 1984 Olympics you took extended breaks from the sport. What was the reason for retiring?
Ed: After 1968 I quit because I felt betrayed and downhearted. The head Mexican Olympic Hammer throw official did not know the rules. I expected to be on the podium. I had thrown medal throws the year before and that year. In 1967 I was ranked number two in the world with the furthest throw in the world by over a meter and had traveled all over Europe without a loss.
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