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Interview of Edwin Moses

Aired February 3, 2010 - 16:49:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Edwin Moses wins by 10 yards. Marvelous running, 47 points (INAUDIBLE).

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Track star Edwin Moses has captured glory most of us have only dreamed about. The two time world champion remained unbeatable at the 400 meter hurdles for a remarkable nine years, nine months and nine days.

Over the course of his 15 year career, he broke the world record four times and won two Olympic gold medals. And off the track, Moses is just as much the sports champion. Since retirement, he's helped to develop a number of anti-drug initiatives. And in December, 1988, he helped create amateur sports' first out of competition drug testing program.

Since 2000, Moses has also been chairman of the renowned Laureus World Sports Academy, which seeks to promote sport as a tool for social change.

With a legacy that just keeps growing, Edwin Moses is our Connector of the Day.


ANDERSON: A little earlier, I spoke to Edwin from Atlanta, Georgia. I began by asking him about his recent trip to Ghana with the Laureus Sports Awards Academy. And this is what he said.


EDWIN MOSES: Well, we went out to a village of probably about 50 miles outside of Ghana. It's basically a village that's compromised of mud huts and a couple of concrete buildings. And all the kids are orangutans. There were a couple of kids that have been staying there for years that were blind and had other diseases -- cerebral palsy, tuberculosis, things of that nature. And they have a group of women that actually live in the village and act as parents for these children on a day by day basis.

So what we try to do is -- is employ a sporting project to give them incentive to continue in school and also just for physical fitness.

So it was a fantastic project and beautiful.

ANDERSON: Yes. It's remarkable what the Laureus Foundation does. And I know -- I know you head that up.

Now, what are you most proud of?

MOSES: Well, the thing that I'm most proud of is that I was honored to be selected the chairman of this organization 10 years ago. We just finished our tenth and we're into our eleventh year. And this year, we will be having our tenth World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.

So in addition to that, just the fact that we've helped over a half a million kids around the world. That's just fantastic and it's something I feel very proud of.

ANDERSON: Listen, I want to give it up to the viewers, at this point, since they're part of the show.

Bill Davis has written in to us. He says, in your case, you were at the top of your field for 10 years. Today's athlete, he says, seems to be -- seem to be a bit fleeting.

Why is it that we don't see the sort of long legacy from our Olympic athletes that we saw in the past with the likes of you?

MOSES: Well, track and field is a very tough sport. My training program allowed me to stay on the top for the -- the most of 13 years. I started long distance running. In fact, I don't think that there's not many distance runners and definitely no sprinters that have run as many miles as I've had to get in condition. I've run about 20 -- 26,000 miles in my life.


MOSES: And that's a lot for a distance runner. So I trained for longevity, I trained clean and drug-free, which was one of the things that I always promoted when I was in the sport. And the training methods are different these days.

ANDERSON: Yolanda says, what advice would you give middle school students who currently run hurdles in 400 and want to represent the USA in the Olympics, say, 2016?

MOSES: Well, I -- I think for -- for middle -- middle school students, I think one of the most important things that is missing in the day to day life of students is physical fitness. Being able to have physical fitness in school is a major priority all around the world -- obesity, diabetes, kids with high blood pressure is becoming more common.

ANDERSON: Jeannie asks, who do you rate in the world of track and field today at the moment?

MOSES: Well, in -- in -- in the 100 meters and 200 meters, Usain Bolt is definitely at the top of the world. Sanya Richards in the women's 400. In the Men's 400 hurdles, it's kind of going back and forth one -- right now. No one's really dominated my event. It hasn't happened in a long time. It's a transition where people come and go all the time, so it's really difficult.

But overall, the -- the competition in the world of track and field is very diverse worldwide. You have people from countries that the fans may not know how to pronounce and know where they are located on the globe that are doing well in the sport. And I think it's -- I think it's fantastic.

ANDERSON: Here's an interesting one for you.

Richie Gould, did you ever break wind whilst leaping over a hurdle to throw off an opponent?

He said this has happened several times in his case.


MOSES: That's a very interesting question. I'm sure that if you've had a meal of pork and beans and you go out on the track, that will happen to you. One of the most important things when we get out there is knowing what you can eat and really make sure you don't have a stomach ache, indigestion or things like that.


MOSES: But, yes, I would say that I've -- I've done that a couple of times.

ANDERSON: Edwin Moses for you.

He's our Connector of the Day.