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Edwin Moses is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 400-meter hurdles, but his most important contributions to sport have come off the track. He fought to ensure athletes could profit from their hard work without compromising Olympic eligibility, and helped shaped track and field’s anti-doping programs.
Moses was born in 1955 in Dayton, Ohio, and began his Olympic journey at Morehouse College in Atlanta. There, he studied physics and industrial engineering, while running the 120-yard hurdles and 400 meters for the school’s track team. It took until 1976, though, for Moses to find his calling: the 400-meter hurdles.
[Slideshow: Close-ups of Olympic medals through the years]
It didn’t take long for Moses to dominate the circuit, as he won gold at that the Summer Games in Montreal in a world-record time. He then embarked on a decade-long 122 consecutive victory streak, capped off with another gold-medal performance at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In the midst of Moses’ incredible streak came another key victory. In 1981, Moses presented a plan to the International Olympic Committee that allowed athletes to be able to benefit from endorsements, stipends and direct payments while keeping their Olympic eligibility.
Moses added one more medal, earning bronze at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea with his fastest-ever time at an Olympic final.
After his retirement from track and field, Moses enjoyed a short, successful stint as a bobsledder before focusing his efforts on promoting sport and anti-doping programs. He served as head of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s substance abuse, research and education committee and helped develop track and field’s strict anti-doping program.
Since 2000, Moses has headed the Laureus World Sport Academy, which works to “promote the use of sport as a tool for social change around the world.”
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