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My 1984 Olympic Hero

My daily to-do list consisted of one item in August of 1984 – watch the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Did it matter that Russia chose to boycott these Games? Maybe in the weightlifting and wrestling competitions, but not the events that mattered. There were tons of captivating stories and exhilarating victories for US athletes. Carl Lewis was outstanding as he won 4 Track & Field gold medals. Mary Lou Retton captured the hearts of the nation on the gymnastics floor. But for my money, Edwin Moses was the athlete to remember.

The 400 meter hurdles and Edwin Moses. No other track and field athlete has become more synonymous with their chosen event than Edwin. The two were perfect for each other. Edwin won his first international event in world record fashion. It just happened to be at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. How’s that for a memorable introduction?

A year later, he started one of the most amazing streaks in any sport. Edwin Moses won 122 consecutive 400 meter hurdle races! This streak lasted 9 years, 9 months, and 9 days. It included the 1984 Olympic Games in LA.

One of the secrets of his success was consistent strides. He maintained 13 steps in between hurdles throughout the entire race. This allowed him to pull away from his competitors the second half of the race as they changed their strides. And it worked to perfection 122 races in a row.

The sports world has seen many dynasties. I don’t know of any individual or team that went almost 10 years without tasting defeat. Edwin Moses was simply amazing; a true Olympic Hero!


Portions of this article were curated from the following:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Moses

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