Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' Prefontaine ' By Tom Jordan

1578 Words Dec 15th, 2015 7 Pages
Depending on who was asked, Steve Prefontaine was either a brash firebrand or an inspirational genius. For his competitors, Prefontaine’s talent and style sent shivers down their spines and made the end result seem a foregone conclusion. For his fans, he had a strange combination of charisma and mystery that gave him an indescribable magnetism. The author of Prefontaine’s biography, Tom Jordan, summed this allure up when he prefaced his book by saying, “There was something about Steve Prefontaine that demanded attention” (Jordan 3). Part of this was certainly his talent; Prefontaine once held the American record in every distance track event. However, even more remarkable than what he did is how he did it. Prefontaine had relied upon his superior mental toughness to win, and he did so while sporting long golden hair and a peculiar mustache. This attitude helped shape the culture of what would become Nike. Not only was his approach unorthodox, but he also publicly fought against the amateurism in sports that banned endorsements and left athletes impoverished, leading to Congress ending the amateur status of Olympic athletes in 1978. However, Prefontaine’s story is not only one of inspiration but also one of tragedy. At age 24, he was driving home when he swerved off the road when a driver entered his lane, causing Prefontaine to drive off the road and into a rock. He was trapped under his car and died shortly thereafter. The news shook the sports world and still sparks…

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