Up until 1954, nobody trusted it was possible to run a mile in less than four minutes. No matter how hard athletes tried to break the four-minute barrier, it couldn’t be done. For quite a long time, the record had floated at seconds more than four minutes.
May 6th, 1954 was the day, when at a local athletics event in Oxford, England, the British athlete Roger Bannister ran a mile-long race in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. He broke the barrier.
This is what’s significantly more wonderful, within two months, two more athletes broke the four-minute barrier.
The issue wasn’t that it was difficult to run a mile in under four minutes but nobody believed it was possible to run a mile in under four minutes. When Bannister achieved a four-minute mile, the beliefs of other athletes shifted. Bannister changed what was possible in the world of athletics.