Athlete Biography: Maurice Greene

Maurice “Mo” Greene was a world class sprinter, winning gold at the 1999 World Track Championships in Seville and also winning gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Born in Kansas City, Kansas on July 23, 1974, Maurice showed promise at track early in his life. From 1991 to 1993 he won both the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints at the state-wide Kansas High School track championships. The only person to win both races three years running. He also played running back on his high school football team.

However, in 1995 in his first major international tournament at the World Championships in Gothenburg, Germany he was eliminated in the 100 meter quarter finals. His poor performances continued when, in 1996, he made a bad showing in the Olympic trials and didn’t even make the team.  Mo changed coaches after that in disappointment and moved to Los Angeles to train.

Between 1997 and 2001 were Greene’s best years. In 1998 he tied the 50 meters indoor world record and also set the 60 meter indoor world record; both of which still stand today. Further, he won the 100 meter and 200 meter and anchored the winning 4 X 100 meter relay team at the 1999 World Championship. He was the first person to ever do that. Later that same year he set a world record at Athens in the 100 meter with a time of 9.79 seconds.  Greene followed up those spectacular victories with a stellar performance at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. At Sydney he won gold in the 100 meter and again anchored the gold medal winning 4 X 100 meter relay team.

Greene continued to run successfully until he was injured in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles in 2002. However rather than let that end his career, Greene came back to run again. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, he won Bronze in the 100 meter sprint and silver as a member of the 4 X 100 meter team.

Maurice Greene was ranked the number one sprinter in the world for seven years from 1996 to 2003.

Greene retired from track officially in 2008. Throughout his career Mo showed supreme self-confidence, which no doubt helped him bounce back from his injuries.

After his retirement Mr. Greene has taken to the public speaking circuit. And in 2008 he also appeared, with Cheryl Burke in the 7th season of “Dancing with the Stars.” The pair just missed out making the semi-finals and finishing in fifth place over all.

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