It is a measure of the impact Sir Peter Snell made on the athletics world that the world record he set for 800m, on a grass track at the now-defunct Lancaster Park in Christchurch, remains the New Zealand record 57 years later.
On February 3, 1962, Snell ran a time of 1m 44.3s for the 800m and while at it, he also broke the world half-mile record. This a week after breaking the world mile record at Cook's Gardens in Wanganui with his time of 3m 54.4s, the first four-minute mile run on New Zealand soil.
That was Peter Snell, a strong, powerful runner whose sustained speed allowed him to dominate middle distance running during the first five years of the 1960s.
Based on the Arthur Lydiard mileage he put into his legs, he had the strength to achieve success in clusters: his three world records in a week in 1962, his Empire Games gold medals in the half-mile and mile at Perth later that same year and his two Olympic gold medals in the 800m and 1500m at Tokyo in 1964, followed soon after back in Auckland by another world mile record of 3m 54.1s and the world 1000m record.
On top of that, he several times visited the United States to take on their best runners in traditional track running and on boards on the indoor circuit.
Snell, as time has shown, was a phenomenon achieving success like very few individual sportspeople from New Zealand have managed.
Yet, at the same time, he was his own man. His disputes with Lydiard, when they had differences of opinion, were a demonstration of that although Snell remained a Lydiard disciple throughout his life.
He was concerned during his competitive years that he hadn't made the best of his schooling and that drove his later commitment to academia and the PhD he achieved in future years. That involved moving off shore but he retained a connection with the country and his achievements were acknowledged in various sports facilities named after him and with suitable bronze statues created.
He was judged New Zealand's Sportsperson of the 20th Century and there was never any dispute that he deserved the honour.
That can be measured in the fact that his Tokyo Olympic double success has never been repeated.
From an era before the modern massive media attention that makes even ordinary sportspeople household names, Snell was a genuine sporting hero. Others had high profiles like Sir Murray Halberg, Sir Colin Meads, Sir Brian Lochore, Sir Wilson Whineray and a horse named Cardigan Bay, but Sir Peter Snell enjoyed the highest-profile of all.
His impact and achievements in his area of expertise may never be repeated.