Eric Henry Liddell (/ˈlɪdəl/; 16 January 1902 – 21 February 1945) was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary, who was forced to choose between his religious beliefs and competing in an Olympic race.
After refusing to run in the heats on a Sunday, for his favoured distance, men's 100 metres, Liddell could still compete in the men's 400 metres at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, which he won. Liddell's Olympic training and racing, and the religious convictions that influenced him, are depicted in the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire, in which he is portrayed by fellow Scot Ian Charleson.
Eric Liddell, often called the "Flying Scotsman" after the record breaking locomotive, was born 16 January 1902, in Tientsin, in north China, the second son of the Rev. and Mrs. James Dunlop Liddell, who were Scottish missionaries with the London Missionary Society. Liddell went to school in China until the age of five. At the age of six, he and his brother Robert, eight years old, were enrolled in Eltham College, Mottingham, a boarding school in England for the sons of missionaries. Their parents and sister Jenny returned to China. During the boys' time at Eltham, their parents, sister and new brother Ernest came home on furlough two or three times and were able to be together as a family, mainly living in Edinburgh...
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