Sir Murray Halberg, one of New Zealand’s best athletes of all time, has passed away. Halberg died on Wednesday evening at the age of 89, according to the Herald. Halberg is best known for winning the 5000m gold medal, but he also won gold in the three-mile race at the Commonwealth Games in 1958 and 1962. He was also a New Zealander to break the four-minute mile.
Who is Murray Halberg?
Halberg was one of the country’s best runners during what is considered a golden period in New Zealand athletics. He was a world-class athlete on the international stage for a decade, winning the gold medal at the Rome Olympics. Away from the track, he will be remembered for his outstanding work as the creator of the Halberg Foundation in altering the lives of children with disabilities through athletics. Murray Halberg was born in Eketahuna, Wairarapa, in 1933 but lived most of his childhood in Auckland, where he attended Avondale College. His athletic career began after he suffered a terrible injury while playing rugby, leaving him with a withered left arm after months of recovery.
The career of Murray Halberg:
Arthur Lydiard fostered his talent, and he was the first outstanding runner to emerge from the Lydiard stable. He gained national recognition in 1954 after winning the New Zealand mile championship and competing in the Vancouver Empire Games later that year. In that race, he played a minor role in the drama of the Bannister-Landy. He competed in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 but finished down the pack at 10,000 metres. For a time, he became a coach, but he was focusing his efforts on his work for the Crippled Children Society. In 1963, he established the Halberg Trust and reintroduced the Sportsman of the Year annual banquet and awards.
Personal Life of Murray Halberg:
Halberg was born in Eketahuna and raised in Auckland, where he excelled at rugby and cricket. When he was 17, he was brutally injured while playing rugby, leaving him with a withered left arm and having to teach himself to do everything with his right hand, from writing to eating. Halberg and his wife Phyllis were the parents of two children. He recovered from cancer and volunteered as an athlete mentor for the 2002 Commonwealth Games squad in Manchester, a job he repeated at the 2004 Athens Olympics. “After ushering in a golden age for athletics in New Zealand, Sir Murray leaves a significant legacy.”
Tributes Paid To Murray Halberg:
Sir Murray Halberg, one of New Zealand’s true athletic icons, died today, according to Grant Robertson, Minister of Sport and Recreation. “Sir Murray was a phenomenal athlete.” His gold medal at the Rome Olympics was immortalised as part of New Zealand’s afternoon, including Peter Snell winning the 800m. “In its own right, Sir Murray’s victory was extraordinary, driven to victory by exceptional fitness and tenacity.” His Olympic victory was followed by achievements at the Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1958 and 1962, respectively.
No-one ever exemplified the Olympic spirit of triumphing over adversity better than Sir Murray Halberg.
Rest in Peace Sir Murray 🖤
7 July 1933 – 30 November 2022 pic.twitter.com/dEAtWSrCxz
— The New Zealand Team (@TheNZTeam) December 1, 2022
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