Fatherly pride and anticipation began to slowly bubble within me as I rummaged around and finally carefully extracted from my messy wardrobe an almost forgotten pair of shoes a few weeks ago. These weren’t just any old shoes to me but a rare pair of late 1970s Nike track racing shoes called Nike Vainqueur, and this wasn’t just an ordinary occasion to me either, for these old shoes of mine were to be worn that day for the first time in nearly 30 years by my 16 year old son Jeremy. I think we were both a little nervous that morning as we both prepared for him to race in his first athletics carnival at his new high school.
My very first pair of Nike running shoes were a bright blue pair of Nike Waffle trainers which I wore during my late high school years and during my university days at Bathurst in NSW. They were good enough to help me win two consecutive Mitchell 1000 road races around the famous Bathurst 1000 racing car track.
Winning the Mitchell 1000 in a pair of Nike Waffles Then arrived on the scene what I think was my favourite pair of running shoes – the Nike Eagle. Wow, what a shoe! I took these as my sole training shoes for an eight month training stint on the Greek island of Lesvos (Mytilini) in 1984. It’s amazing how vivid and fresh the memories still are of hurtling along mile after mile of mountainous goat tracks in the hills around the fishing village of Plomari. The Nike Eagle worn in Greece It was upon my return from Greece in 1985 that I purchased this treasured pair of Nike Vainqueur (French for winner). My son was now walking out the door of our home with these resurrected bright yellow track shoes snugly tucked away in his high school sports bag. I would have to wait until I got home from work to hear how he (and the shoes) went, or so I thought. Mid morning I received an SMS from his older sister Jessica from track side - ‘1st in the 1500m’. Yeah! Jeremy then went on to compete also in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m doing well in all...
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