26.Jul.12 Dorset village celebrate local 1900 Olympics medallist
July 2012 saw the village of Shapwick, near Blandford Forum in Dorset celebrate the Olympic achievements of Shapwick-born Charles Bennett at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, where he was awarded the gold medal in the 1500 metres. Click here to find out more about Charles Bennett.
The Charles Bennett Olympic Mile was organised by Voice of Shapwick, the village community group, in association with Bournemouth Athletic Club and Wimborne Athletic Club.
To enhance the celebrations a series of eight one-mile charity road races on Sunday 22nd July 2012 took place – 112 years to the day Charles Bennett claimed his second Olympic Gold for the 5,000m team race. The event opened with athletes carrying Olympic torches from London 1948 and London 2012, followed by a race for villagers. Races continued throughout the afternoon for people of all ages and abilities: from club runners and elite athletes to paralympic competitors and casual joggers.
Wimborne AC was fortunate to have four 2012 Olympic torchbearers, and all four of them took part in the celebrations at Shapwick with their torches. Charles Bennett’s grandson, Chris, presented race winners with their medals along with local Commonwealth athlete, Roger Matthews and veteran members of Charles Bennett’s club, Finchley Harriers.
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