The Edwin Moses reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from

Edwin Moses

Get the latest news from Africa
Edwin Corley Moses (born August 31, 1955) is an American track and field athlete who won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at the 1976 and 1984 Summer Olympics. Between 1977 and 1987, Moses won 107 consecutive finals (122 consecutive races). He set the world record in his event four times. In addition to his running, Moses was also an innovative reformer in the areas of Olympic eligibility and drug testing.

122 Consecutive Wins

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Moses accepted an academic scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta and majored in physics and engineering while competing for the school track team. Morehouse did not have its own track, so he used public high school facilities around the city to train. Initially, Moses competed mostly in the 180-yard hurdles and 440-yard dash. Before March, 1976, he ran only one 400-meter hurdles race, but once he began focusing on the event, he made remarkable progress, in part by being able to take only 13 steps between hurdles, instead of the usual 14. That summer, he qualified for the US team for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

Though it was his first international meet, Moses won the gold medal and set a world record of 47.64 seconds. He was the only American male in Montreal to win an individual track and field gold medal.

After breaking his own world record the following year, Moses lost to Germany's Harald Schmid on August 26, 1977 in Berlin, his fourth defeat in the 400-meter hurdles. Beginning the next week, when he beat Schmid by 15 meters in Düsseldorf, Moses would not lose again for almost a decade.

By the time American Danny Harris beat Moses in Madrid on June 4, 1987, Moses had won 122 consecutive races, set the world record two more times, won three World Cup titles, won two World Championships, and earned his second Olympic gold medal in Los Angeles, where he was selected to take the Olympic Oath. After losing to Harris, he won 10 more races in a row, then finished third in the final 400-meter race of his career at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.

Eligibility Reforms

In 1979, Moses took a leave of absence from his job with General Dynamics to devote himself full time to running. In the next two years, he was instrumental in reforming international and Olympic eligibility rules. At his urging, an Athletes Trust Fund program was established to allow athletes to benefit from government- or privately-supplied stipends, direct payments, and commercial endorsement money without jeopardizing their Olympic eligibility. Moses presented the plan to Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee, and the concept was ratified in 1981. This fund is the basis of many Olympic athlete subsistence, stipend and corporate support programs, including the United States Olympic Committee's Direct Athlete Assistance Programs.


Moses was the first recipient of USA Track & Field's "Jesse Owens Award" as outstanding U.S. male track and field performer in 1981, and received the AAU's "Sullivan Award" as outstanding amateur athlete in the United States in 1983.

Drug Testing

As a sports administrator, Moses participated in the development of a number of anti-drug policies and helped the track and field community develop one of sports' most stringent random in-competition drug testing systems. In December, 1988, he designed and created amateur sports' first random out-of-competition drug testing program.

Other Achievements

After his retirement from track, Moses competed in a 1990 World Cup bobsled race at Winterburg, Germany. He and long-time US Olympian Brian Shimer won the two-man bronze medal.

In 1994, Moses received an MBA from Pepperdine University and was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.