Like so many things that once seemed utterly important, they may seem less so today. The transformative work of pioneers in one field or another creates new expectations, sets new norms.
We, because we are human, take what was hard-won for granted, all too quickly forgetting what went before
Jerry Kiernan, the athlete, coach, and commentator, who has died aged 67, was one of those change-makers. He finished 9th in the Olympic marathon in LA in 1984.
Analysis and real ambition replaced the traditional parochial cheerleading and played a significant role in broadening horizons.
He, Eamonn Coughlan and Gary O'Toole too, pushed the "why not?" question to the very front of the conversation around our international athletes.
This positive goading, this installation of confidence, is a significant legacy that resonates far beyond the running track.
May he rest in peace.