Eric Liddell was an athlete who competed for Great Britain in the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924. The award winning film ‘Chariots of Fire’ tells the story of Liddell and another British athlete Harold Abrahams. They both won Gold Medals at the games. Chariots of Fire was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1982 and won four.
Eric Liddell was born in Tientsin, China on January 16th 1902. His parents were Scottish who were working as missionaries in China. Liddell was an outstanding athlete who was educated at the University of Edinburgh. He competed successfully in sprint races and played on the wing for the Scotland national rugby union team in the 1922 and 1923 Five Nations Championships.
In the 1924 Olympic Games Liddell was listed to compete in the 100m. A heat for the race was to be held on Sunday. Because of his Christian convictions Liddell would not compete on the Sabbath. Liddell later competed in the 400m race and won gold. In 1925 Liddell returned to China to work as a missionary.
Eric Liddell, Olympic Gold Medal winner, rugby player, and missionary whose story was told in the film Chariots of Fire died aged 43 in an internment camp in China in the year 1945 On This Day.