Harrison Dillard began hurdling at the age of eight, running in an alley and using the springs from abandoned car seats as barriers. During 1947 and 1948, Dillard won 82 straight races. However, in the final of the 110m hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trials, he lost his stride and failed to finish.
Hurdling at all cost
Fortunately, he had already qualified in the 100m dash. At the Olympic Games in London in 1948, Dillard edged teammate Barney Ewell for the gold medal. He won a second gold medal in the 4x100m relay. But Dillard still wanted to win an Olympic hurdles championship.
Lucky at 29
Four years later, the 29-year-old Dillard got his chance in Helsinki. He was hard-pressed by fellow American Jack Davis, but he surged ahead at the end and crossed the finish line first. The usually calm Dillard leaped for joy and exclaimed, “Good things come to those who wait”. Dillard won another gold medal in the relay to bring his career total to four.