Louis Silvie Zamperini was an American World War II veteran, an evangelical Christian and an Olympic distance runner. He took up running in high school and qualified for the US in the 5,000 m race for the 1938 Berlin Olympics, finishing 8th, but not without setting a new lap record. --- Wikipedia
That's not even half of it. Dirt poor Italian immigrant family, of small stature and bullied for it until a uncle showed him how to punch and a cousin how to run - fast. Badly burned somehow. They were told he wouldn't walk again. Thats what they thought. He got to the 38 Munich Olympics and was congratulated by Hitler himself up on the stand. All set for Gold in the next Olympics but war got in the way. Joined the USAF. Ditched returning from bombing a Jap airfield and spent a record making 47 days adrift with no sustenance and with sharks rubbing their fins along the bottom of their disintegrating dinghy. Eventually they heard a plane and fired off all their flares and water dye. Wunderbar it saw them and came back diving down low
to machine gun them - twice. It was a Jap plane !!!
If you want more read the book by Lauren Hillderbrand - Unbroken.