Lopes returned to the Olympic Games in 1984 at the age of 37. This time he ran in the marathon, even though he had only entered three marathons previously and had only completed one. Only 15 days before the Olympic marathon, Lopes was on a training run when a car hit him. He rolled over the hood and his elbow crashed through the windshield. Fortunately, his injuries were minor. In Los Angeles, Lopes turned on the pressure after 34.5km, running the next five kilometres in only 14 minutes 33 seconds. He went on to win the race by 35 seconds. The following year, Lopes became the first runner to complete a marathon in less than 2 hours and 8 minutes.