(1910–49), the great one-mile runner of the 1930s, has become one of New Zealand's few near-mythic figures. The innovations of live radio and film newsreel made his achievements public on a previously unknown scale, while his bashful manner and intensely private personality have kept him a perplexing hero. The highly-charged background enhances the story. He was a Rhodes Scholar in 1930s Oxford, competed frequently in America at that nation's most noisily emergent phase and won his greatest victory at the 1936 Olympic Games in Hitler's Berlin. Recent New Zealand writers have placed emphasis, as with Katherine Mansfield, on the ambivalence of the expatriate colonial, absorbed back into British society yet always a New Zealander, very publicly so in Lovelock's case.
From The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature in Oxford Reference.