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Jack Lovelock

John Lovelock
John Edward "Jack" Lovelock

Date of Birth: January 5, 1910
Place of Birth: Crushington, New Zealand
Date of Death: December 28, 1949
Place of Death: New York
Occupation: Physician

Olympic athlete in 1932, 1936

John Edward "Jack" Lovelock (January 5,1910-December 28, 1949) was a New Zealand athlete, and a 1936 Olympic champion.

Born in the town of Crushington (near Reefton) as the son of English immigrants, Lovelock showed talent for sports while at high school. He studied medicine at the University of Otago, while competing for the university team in the New Zealand 1-mile championships. In 1931 he became a Rhodes Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford.

In 1932 - by then holder of the British Empire record for the mile - Lovelock competed in the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. There, he placed 7th in the final. The following year, he set a new world record in the mile: 4:07.6, and in 1934 he won the gold medal in the mile at the British Empire Games.

The highlight of Lovelock's career came in 1936, when he won the gold medal in the 1500 m at the Berlin Olympics, setting a new world record in the final (3:47.8). Converting his time to the mile, it seemed that a four-minute mile might be within reach of runners after all.

After his title, Lovelock graduated and became a doctor, serving as a medical officer during World War II. He was tragically killed when he fell under a subway train in New York.


  • Lovelock: New Zealand's Olympic gold miler by Christopher Tobin, Dunedin, 1984

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Last updated: 08-18-2005 05:59:34