Harold Abrahams takes centre stage in rare footage
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2012-07-03
Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell
An obscure film featuring the Olympic athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell - whose story was told in the Oscar-winner Chariots Of Fire - has been uncovered in the British Film Institute's National Archive.
The 19-minute movie, which includes rarely seen documentary footage, goes by the full title of Running - A Sport That Creates Both Bodily and Mental Health (1924): Juvenile Races at a Country Sports Meeting, and scenes from the 1924 Olympics with W.M.Cotterell, Harold Abrahams, E.H. Liddell, D.G. Lowe, H.B.Stallard, G.M.Butler and D.McLeod Wright.
It features Abrahams - who won gold at the 1924 Olympics in the 100m final - showing the correct and incorrect way to start a race, as well as footage of him with trainer Sam Mussabini.
And the discovery comes as London gears up to host the Olympics later this month, and also coincides with the re-release of Chariots Of Fire at cinemas.
“How incredibly timely to come across the real Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell in this beautiful quality footage with less than a month to go before the 2012 Olympics," said the National Film Theatre's silent film curator Bryony Dixon.
The film will be made available at a number of BFI Mediatheque Centres later this year.
These will include Southbank, London; QUAD Derby; Central Library, Cambridge; Discovery Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and the Library, Wrexham.