Edwin Moses - "edwin Was Like The Lone Ranger"
"Edwin Was Like the Lone Ranger"
At the trials for the 1976 Olympics, Moses set an American record in the 400 hurdles. And at the Olympics, held in Montreal, he set a world record with a time of 47.63, and won a gold medal.
At the time, Moses was not well known and was viewed as an enigma by the press and the public. His eyes had been sensitive to sunlight since the fifth grade, and he had to wear prescription sunglasses during competition so that he could see the hurdles. However, observers claimed that he wore the sunglasses as a political or social statement. In Sports Illustrated, Hurdler Andre Phillips told writer Curry Kirkpatrick that he recalled seeing Moses "with the [sweat suit] hood up and the glasses. The dude had come out of nowhere and there he was and you still couldn't see him. No face. Edwin was like the Lone Ranger…. He was—like, wow!—handsoff, alone, cool. I really got into the hurdles after that."
After his Olympic win, Moses did not receive the recognition he thought he would. He told Kirkpatrick, "I guess I expected to be recognized or doors would open or lights would flash or something. But it was like … nothing. The race, the gold, the Olympics. [It was like] None of it … had … ever … happened." He returned to Morehouse to complete his education, and for the next few years he was criticized for not running indoor events, for not running other outdoor events, for not having a coach, and for not joining a track club. After graduating with a 3.5 average and a degree in physics and engineering, Moses moved to California, where he worked as an aerospace engineer for General Dynamics from 1978 to 1979. He also continued to run, although he was bored with the lack of true competition against him, and even more frustrated when the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics for political reasons and he, like all other American athletes, lost his chance to compete there.
In 1977, Moses lowered his world record to 47.45. He also won the world championship title.
Moses met his wife, Myrella Bordt, in West Berlin in the summer of 1980. She was a movie set and costume designer, and a track fan—in fact, she was such a fan of Moses that she had his photo on her bedroom wall. She told Kirkpatrick, "I knew this was the guy. He was gorgeous going over the hurdle—the look, the form, the mood it portrayed. He was compelling." In that same year, Moses set a new world record in the 400-meter hurdles: 47.13. In 1982, he and Bordt were married.
Moses applied his scientific mind to his training, using a heart rate monitor and athletic watch to guide his workouts. He tracked his training sessions on his home computer, analyzing the numbers and using them to plan future efforts. In Sports Illustrated, Kenny Moore wrote, "His workouts take two or three hours. He was educated to be an engineer. He is also an engine. He knows all his working parts. If something takes time, he gives it time."