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Newz Forum: OLYMPICS: Oddly dressed man attacks marathon leader

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posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 01:53 PM
Vanderlei Lima of Brazil, whose lead had been slowly shrinking, was pushed to the curb by a man dressed in green beret, red kilt and knee-high green socks. Lima was able to get back into the race, but he lost several more seconds and eventually was overtaken by Baldini.

Lima, who took the bronze, drew big cheers from the crowd at the finish line in Panthinaiko Stadium - the beautiful marble structure that was the site of the first modern Olympics 108 years ago. He smiled broadly, spread his arms like wings and weaved from side to side as he crossed the line.

Keflezighi, who emigrated from the war-torn African nation of Eritrea at age 10, is the first American to medal in the men's marathon since Frank Shorter's silver in 1976. Deena Kastor won the bronze in the women's marathon a week ago, marking the first time the United States had medaled in both of the sport's epic endurance competition.

Baldini, 33, finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 54 seconds. He waved his hands in celebration, then dropped to his knees in exhaustion after his final lap on the narrow track inside the stadium. Baldini is the former European marathon champion and two-time world marathon silver medalist.

Keflezighi, the American record holder at 10,000 meters, showed little emotion, crossing himself and putting up a No. 1 sign with his finger to the television.

Lima pulled away from the pack a little over halfway through the competition, which - over difficult and often steep terrain - traced the ancient route that gives the race its name.

Lima, a two-time Pan American champion who was 47th in the 1996 Olympic marathon, stretched the lead to as much as 46 seconds before Baldini, Keflezighi and Kenyan Paul Tergat began to narrow the gap.

As the runners went through the streets of Athens, to the cheers of flag-waving onlookers, the intruder came from the runner's left and pushed him to the side, all the way to the curb and into the crowd. Police quickly went after the intruder, one officer leaping from a bicycle, as Lima pushed himself free and kept running.

The intruder had a piece of paper attached to his back bearing the message: "The Grand Prix Priest Israel Fulfillment of Prophecy Says the Bible."

Police identified him as Cornelius Horan, an Irish citizen. In July 2003, Horan, in a costume similar to Sunday's, ran onto the track at the British Grand Prix in the middle of the race and stayed there for more than 20 seconds, forcing racers to swerve around him. He was carrying a sign that said, "read the Bible - the Bible is always right."

Lima's lead had already been diminishing before the incident. Afterward, Baldini and then Keflezighi passed Lima not far from the stadium.

As the race began in the now-suburb of Marathon, the sun set over the Acropolis cast a rose-colored hue on the horseshoe-shaped stadium, which was about three-quarters full.

The runners followed the steep, difficult course over which, legend says, Pheidippides carried the news in 490 B.C. that the Greeks had defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.

"Be joyful. We win!" Pheidippides shouted.

Then he dropped dead.

posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:14 PM
this guy is a real nut case, i hope they throw the book at him, i have to feel sorry for the runner that he attacked, while it may not have cost him the race, it had to sap the strength that he had left

Defrocked priest attacks marathon leader, who finishes third
By ROB GLOSTER, AP Sports Writer

August 29, 2004

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- The defrocked Irish priest who bolted from the crowd and tackled the marathon leader about three miles from the finish Sunday has been arrested before for disrupting sporting events.

Cornelius Horan, 57, was wearing a green beret, a red kilt and knee-high green socks when he attacked Brazilian runner Vanderlei Lima, knocking him into the crowd. Lima was able to recover and finish, but had to settle for the bronze medal.

``I was scared, because I didn't know what could happen to me, whether he was armed with a knife, a revolver or something and whether he was going to kill me,'' Lima said. ``That's what cost me the gold medal.''

The Brazilian track federation protested the result and sought a duplicate gold medal for Lima, but the appeal was rejected.

``I'm not going to cry forever about the incident, although it broke my concentration,'' Lima said, ``but I managed to finish and the bronze medal in such a difficult marathon is also a great achievement.''

The appeals jurors said they ``would like to express their sympathy toward the athlete and regret the unfortunate incident. This shall not happen in the future and the security should be reinforced for road events. The final results can unfortunately not be changed.''

Athens police sources identified the intruder as Cornelius Horan, who has been barred from practicing as a priest for the past decade. He once published a book called ``A glorious new world very soon to come'' that predicted the world would soon end.

The attacker Sunday night had a piece of paper attached to his back bearing the message: ``The Grand Prix Priest Israel Fulfillment of Prophecy Says the Bible.''

In July 2003, Horan, in a costume similar to Sunday's, ran onto the track at the British Grand Prix in the middle of the race and stayed there for more than 20 seconds, forcing Formula One racers traveling at more than 200 mph to swerve around him. He was carrying a sign that said: ``Read the Bible -- the Bible is always right.''

British authorities said Horan also attempted a protest on Wimbledon's Center Court during a rain break, and tried to disrupt cricket and rugby matches.

On Sunday, Horan jumped from the crowd, ran across the street and grabbed Lima. A policeman following the leader on a bicycle jumped off and helped free the Brazilian.

Lima, whose once-large lead had been slowly shrinking, was able to get back into the race. But he lost several seconds as a result of the attack, and eventually was overtaken by Stefano Baldini of Italy and Mebrahtom Keflezighi of the United States. Lima finished third.

When the incident occurred, dozens of flag-waving Brazilian fans at the stadium that marked the marathon's end, watching the front-runners on a giant screen, suddenly went silent and the huge crowd gasped.

The police sources said Horan arrived in Athens just before dawn Sunday aboard a British Airways flight. They said Horan apparently acted because he believed that Christian Judgment Day was coming.

Horan would be taken to a prosecutor on Monday, the sources said. It was unclear if he would be charged or remanded for psychiatric evaluation

posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 08:05 PM
this guy is, in a two word description....a nut job. and it's not the first time he's done it, he needs to have his head checked because i think he left some of his marbles in the circle.

posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 09:28 AM
this guy is crazy especially with this F1 stunt that he pulled a couple of years back they had showed that on TV.

I feel sorry for the runner, but he did get teh sportsmenship award


posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 04:33 PM
I see him do this and he is a real wacko.

I was watching the F1 race aswell when he got onto the track and started running along it as the cars was comming. He must have had some sort of death wish. One of the most stupid things i have seen someone do.


posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 04:43 PM

Defrocked priest Cornelius Horan grabs Vanderlei Lima of Brazil during the men's marathon in Athens.

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 05:00 PM
How does this clown get by security. With all the terrorist junk going on, and the heightened security, how can't you see this guy coming?


posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 05:35 PM
yea that is what i was thinking, they were supposed to have such higih secuirty but he got through that is a no no :angry-smiley-034:

posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 05:36 PM
Good thing he didn't have a stick of dynamite up his @%&.


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