Ron ClarkeSri Chinmoy: Could you please tell me if you know Ron Clarke?
Mr. Jordan: Would you believe in 1956 when he carried the torch into the stadium and burned his hand, I was there. I knew him very well as a young runner before he ever became the great distance runner he was and is. Fine man!
Sri Chinmoy: A few months ago he had heart surgery.
Mr. Jordan: He had heart surgery? He was here two years ago and brought his son over to meet me. We visited in my office for quite a period of time. Any time he came into the United States to run, he would come to train with me.
Sri Chinmoy: He has started running again. Two weeks ago he ran seven miles, and while running he was talking to one of my Australian students.
Mr. Jordan: He's the kind of person that this moment of adversity will not stop. He will become stronger for it. He's a wonderful person spiritually and physically, and this momentary setback won't stop him or his contributions to the world.
Sri Chinmoy: He had a little bad luck in the Olympics. He didn't get the gold medal.
Mr. Jordan: No, but he always made the gold medalist pay very dearly for the gold medal. He was there, he was there.
Sri Chinmoy: Zatopek put one of his gold medals in Ron Clarke's suitcase. He went to visit Zatopek and upon his return he looked in his suitcase only to discover one of Zatopek's gold medals.
Mr. Jordan: Isn't that something? That's a great story. Well, that is the kind of person Zatopek was. And Ron Clarke is the same kind of person. He did what he did, but he never refused to give credit to other people. He always was very generous. It's an interesting thing about champions and people of stature like that.