Edwin Moses in front of a track field.
Edwin Moses is an athletic legend - a revolutionary track and field athlete and philanthropist who dominated the sport of hurdling. Learn more about his unique style, records, and legacy.

Breaking Barriers: How Edwin Moses Revolutionized Hurdling

Introduction: The Rise of Edwin Moses

Edwin Moses is widely regarded as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, particularly in the discipline of hurdling. After accepting an academic scholarship to Morehouse College, he went on to dominate track for nearly a decade. With his unique technique and unparalleled dedication, Moses revolutionized the way hurdles were approached and set records that still stand to this day. Beyond his athletic achievements, Moses also made a significant impact off the track through his philanthropic work and activism.

The Perfect Technique: Moses’ Unique Approach to Hurdling

One of the key factors that set Edwin Moses apart from his competitors was his scientific approach. Unlike other hurdlers of his time, Moses focused on maintaining a consistent stride pattern throughout the race. He knew the distance between each hurdle and trained vigorously to nail the exact, optimal timing and distance between strides. This consistency allowed him to maintain his speed throughout the race and gave him a significant advantage. His attention to detail and commitment to perfecting his technique set him apart from other athletes and revolutionized the sport of hurdling.

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The Winning Streak: Moses’ Unbeatable Record

Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of Moses’ career was his incredible winning streak in the 400m hurdles. From 1977 to 1987, he won 122 consecutive races, including 107 finals. This unbeatable record is a testament to Moses’ dominance and consistency in the sport.

During this time, Moses set multiple world records and won two Gold medals at the Olympic Games. In 1976, he made his Olympic debut at the Montreal Games. He set a world record of 47.63 seconds and claimed his first gold medal. In fact, it was the only American gold medal won in Men’s Track & Field at those Games. 

Moses qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team but was unable to compete due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. However, he did receive a Congressional Gold Medal for forfeiting his participation.

Four years later, at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Moses defended his title and won another gold medal. This victory solidified his status as one of the greatest Olympians of all time.

He wouldn’t lose a race until June 4, 1987. By that time, Edwin Moses had won 122 consecutive races, set the world record two more times, and won 3 World Cup titles and a World Championship Gold Medal to go along with his 2 Olympic Gold Medals. 

After the loss, he went on to win 10 more races in a row and collected his second World Championship Gold Medal in Rome later that year. In the final 400m hurdles race of his career, he won bronze at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. His ability to maintain such a high level of performance for nearly a decade is unparalleled in the history of track and field.

The Legacy: Moses’ Impact on the Sport of Hurdling

Moses’ impact on the sport of hurdling cannot be overstated. His innovative technique and physics-based methods revolutionized the way hurdles were approached and set a new standard for excellence in the discipline. His records and achievements continue to inspire and motivate athletes today.

Beyond his athletic achievements, Moses also made a significant impact off the track. He used his platform to advocate for clean sport and was a vocal critic of doping in athletics. He also served as the chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the Laureus World Sports Academy, an organization that promotes social change through sport.

Conclusion: The Enduring Influence of Edwin Moses

In conclusion, Edwin Moses’ impact on the sport of hurdling and beyond is clear. He revolutionized his sport and set records that may never be broken. While his competitive career may be over, Moses’ legacy lives on. As a keynote speaker, he motivates audiences with his Olympic story of dedication, perseverance, and commitment to excellence. Furthermore, he proves to audiences that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Edwin Moses will forever be remembered as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time and a true inspiration to athletes around the world.

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