This Olympic athlete was thought to be missing for 50 years by Swedish authorities before they found out he just went home to Japan without telling them!

This Olympic athlete was thought to be missing for 50 years by Swedish authorities before they found out he just went home to Japan without telling them!

Shizo Kanakuri travelled from Japan in 1912 to take part in the Stockholm Olympic marathon race in Sweden.

The race was held at Sollentuna Municipality, but the temperatures rose to an unexpected 104 degrees Fahrenheit and many of the runners suffered from heat exhaustion.

Kanakuri, already tired from the long flight and having difficulty with the local food, passed out half way through the race.

He was cared for by a farming family and returned to Japan when he was well. Unfortunately he failed to inform race officials of his departure.

He was declared missing by Swedish authorities and was considered to be missing for 50 years before they discovered he was happily living in Japan! He had already competed in intervening Olympic marathons before they made this discovery.

In 1966 he was offered the opportunity to complete his run, and he accepted. He finally completed the marathon in 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.379 seconds!

After the race Shizo commented: "It was a long trip. Along the way, I got married, had six children and 10 grandchildren."

He was one of the early leaders of track and field athletics in Japan and has been celebrated as "father of marathon" in his home country.

(Source)

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