Roger Bannister’s great achievement was not to attain the impossible, but to make the unattainable realistic.
The claim that typically accompanies a feat of athletic genius—that it may never be equalled—was never said of Bannister’s four-minute mile. The point of his race was exactly the opposite. The four-minute barrier had daunted runners for generations, but Bannister intended to break through it so that others might follow. And they did.