Steve Roland "Pre" Prefontaine (January 25, 1951 – May 30, 1975) was an American middle and long-distance runner who competed in the 1972 Olympics. Prefontaine once held the American record in seven different distance track events from the 2,000 meters to the 10,000 meters. Prefontaine died in May 1975 at the age of 24 in an auto accident.
Prefontaine, Jim Ryun, Frank Shorter, and Bill Rodgers generated considerable media coverage which helped inspire the 1970s "running boom". Prefontaine was often known for his mustache and his long locks of hair that parted as he ran.
Steve Prefontaine was born on January 25, 1951, in the coastal logging town of Coos Bay, Oregon. His father, Raymond Prefontaine, was a carpenter and a welder after his time serving in the U.S. Army in World War II. Steve's mother, Elfriede, worked as a seamstress. The two returned to Coos Bay after Ray had met Elfriede in Germany while serving with the U.S. Army occupation forces. He had two sisters, Neta and Linda, and they all grew up in a house built by their father...
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