Yes, yes, yes, Chariots of Fire, the 1981 movie that won four Oscars in telling the story of track and field at the 1924 Paris Olympics, is all about the sprints, not cross-country.
OK, OK, OK, Chariots of Fire is about the Olympics but something bigger. It’s a story about British athletes at those 1924 Paris Olympics, one who is a devout Scottish Christian running for the glory of God, the other an English Jew and what it takes to overcome prejudice.
People, we need not quibble here with details.
When people think about Paris and the 1924 Olympics, what do they think of? The iconic beach running scenes from the movie, right? The sunlight! The sand! The sea foam! Especially since Mr. Bean — Rowan Atkinson — had great fun with the whole thing during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.
Those beach scenes are, more or less, kinda-sorta, cross-country running. Good enough, anyway. At least for this point:
The 2024 Games will be 100 years since the Games were last in Paris. As things happen, those 1924 Games were also the last time cross-county was on the Olympic program.
Paris 2024 organizers want cross-country back. So does track and field’s world governing body, the IAAF.