Carlos Lopes

From Academic Kids

Silver 1976 Men's 10.000m
Gold 1984 Men's Marathon


Carlos Lopes (born February 18, 1947) is a former Portuguese athlete, winner of the marathon race at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Born in Viseu, Portugal, Carlos Lopes was a quite average long distance runner, until he made an astonishing breakthrough in 1976, aged 29.

He started 1976 season with a win at the World Cross-Country Championships at Chepstow. At the 1976 Summer Olympics, Lopes set the pace from 4 km mark and the only one to follow him was defending Olympic champion Lasse Virén. Virén passed Lopes with a lap to go to win the gold medal, with Lopes easily winning the silver medal.

After the superb 1976 season Lopes slipped back into the same relative obscurity in which he had been before 1976. Lopes attempted his first marathon at the end of 1982, but he did not finish it. But in his next marathon in the next year he finished a close second to Rob de Castella from Australia with a time of 2:08:39. Lopes decided to run a 10 000 m at the first World Championships, which he finished disappointing sixth. After that he decided to concentrate to marathon.

The Olympic marathon at Los Angeles was run in very hot and humid conditions, and as the favourites gradually fell away, it was the 37 year old Lopes who led the field into the stadium to win the gold medal. In the last major competitive race of his career, the 1985 Rotterdam marathon, Lopes took almost a minute off the world's best marathon time, setting a new standard of 2:07:12.

Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's Marathon
Spiridon Louis | Michel Théato | Thomas J. Hicks | William Sherring | Johnny Hayes | Kenneth McArthur | Hannes Kolehmainen | Albin Stenroos | Boughera El Ouafi | Juan Carlos Zabala | Sohn Kee-chung | Delfo Cabrera | Emil Zátopek | Alain Mimoun | Abebe Bikila (twice) | Mamo Wolde | Frank Shorter | Waldemar Cierpinski (twice) | Carlos Lopes | Gelindo Bordin | Hwang Young-Cho | Josia Thugwane | Gezahegne Abera | Stefano Baldini
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