- Publish Date
- Saturday, 14 December 2019, 8:18AM
Famed New Zealand Olympic distance runner Sir Peter Snell has died, age 80.
Sports historian and friend Ron Palenski confirmed to the Herald Sir Peter had died at his home in Dallas.
Palenski said Snell's wife Miki phoned him this morning to share the tragic news.
The couple had been planning to go out shopping on Thursday noon Dallas time, when Snell "nodded off to sleep".
"Miki was getting ready, and Peter nodded off, as is not unusual for him. But he didn't wake up."
Snell was 80, and due to turn 81 on Tuesday.
Snell is one of New Zealand's most famous Olympians – winning three gold medals (in the 800m at the 1960 Rome games, and then in both the 800m and 1500m in the Tokyo games).
Born in the Taranaki, his family later moved to the Waikato, before he completed his schooling at Mt Albert Grammar.
By the age of 19 he was concentrating on athletics.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.