“Pocket Hercules” needed only a few seconds to win his third Olympic title. Miguel Indurain was in the spotlight for three whole weeks for his fifth Tour de France triumph.
Yet Naim Suleymanoglu, the extroverted 4-foot-11 Turkish weightlifter, and Miguel Indurain, the modest cyclist from Spain, had much in common, and on Thursday both announced their retirements.
They were national heroes. Suleymanoglu would be carried through the streets on the shoulders of his countryman after he had triumphed at Olympics or world championships. Equally, the Spaniards loved Indurain and would chant his name whenever he appeared in public.
They both won their last major titles at the Atlanta Olympics - Suleymanoglu in the 141-pound competition and Indurain in the time trial.
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