Maurice Greene (athlete)

Maurice Greene (athlete)
Maurice Greene

Greene after winning the 100 m event at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney
Personal information
Nationality American
Born July 23, 1974 (1974-07-23) (age 37)
Kansas City, Kansas, United States
Residence Granada Hills, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg)
Sport Running
Event(s) 100 meters, 200 meters
College/university team Kansas

Maurice Greene (born July 23, 1974) is a retired American track and field sprinter who specialized in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79 seconds. During the height of his career (1997–2004) he won four Olympic medals and was a five-time World Champion. This included three golds at the 1999 World Championships, a feat which had previously only been done by Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson and has since been equaled by three others.

His career was affected by a number of injuries from 2001 onwards, although he won the 100 meters bronze and silver in the sprint relay at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Greene was also successful indoors: he was the 1999 Indoor World Champion and remains the world record holder in the 60 meter dash and the joint-fastest man over 50 meters. He raced sparingly after an injury in 2005 and officially retired in 2008. Over his career, he made the second most sub-10 second runs in the 100 m (since surpassed by Asafa Powell). However, his achievements came under scrutiny when he admitted in 2008 to buying performance-enhancing drugs, although he denied having ever used them himself.[1]

Following his track career he has become an ambassador for the IAAF and a TV personality, appearing on Identity, Blind Date and Dancing with the Stars



Maurice Greene was born in Kansas City, Kansas and attended F.L. Schlagle High School. In his youth and high school, he participated in both football and track and field. After high school, Greene received a Track scholarship to the University of Kansas.

In 1995 he took part in his first major international tournament at the World Championships in Gothenburg, but was eliminated in the 100 m quarter-finals. His next season was disappointing, as he failed to make the American team for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

However, the following season would be his breakthrough. At the World Championships in Athens, Greene won the 100 m title. This marked the beginning of Greene's dominance in the 100 m. He successfully defended his title in 1999 and 2001 and captured the Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Olympics. He was also successful at the 200 m. At the 1999 World Championships, he also won the 200 m title, the first to win both sprint events at a World Championships. However, he did not run the 200 m at the 2000 Olympics after an injury at the US trials.

In 1999 he set the 100 m world record at 9.79 s (+0.1 m/s wind), beating Donovan Bailey's standing world record of 9.84 s (+0.7 m/s wind), and lowering the world record by the largest margin since the advent of electronic timing. Greene also matched Bailey's 50 m indoor world record time, but the run was never ratified. He also set the 60 m indoor world record twice. His 60 m indoor record is currently at 6.39 s. Both records still stand. In addition, Maurice Greene is the only sprinter to hold the 60 m and 100 m world records at the same time.

In 2002, Greene lost his 100 m world record to fellow American Tim Montgomery, who beat his time by 0.01 (9.78 s +2.0 m/s), while Greene himself was injured and watched the race from the stands; Montgomery has since been found guilty of using performance enhancing drugs, and his record has been retroactively rescinded. The record was broken legitimately by Asafa Powell in 2005 with a time of 9.77 s (+1.6 m/s wind).

After winning the 100 metres at the 2004 edition of the Adidas Track Classic, Greene walked back to the finish line and took off his shoes as if they were on fire, and Allen Johnson rushed onto the track with a real fire extinguisher to put out the shoes[2] in one of the more famous showboating incidents.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greene added to his medal tally with the bronze after finishing third in his attempt to defend his 100 m title, and a silver as the anchor leg runner on the United States 4x100 m relay team, narrowly denied another Olympic Gold by the British team, who won by 0.01 seconds.

Greene ran 53 sub-10 second 100 m races during his career, which at the time was more than any other sprinter in history. This record has now been surpassed by Asafa Powell who has 60 100 m sub-10 second runs to his name.[3] Previously Greene had held the record for the most wind-legal sub-10 second clockings for 100 m in one season, when he ran 9 sub-10s in 1999. This record was also broken by Asafa Powell in 2006 (12), and it was improved by Powell in 2008 to 15.

On December 21, 2006, he appeared as one of the "strangers" on the NBC game show Identity. The contestant, a self-professed track and field fan, incorrectly identified him by name as Marion Jones, although she identified him as the "world's fastest man."

Greene also appeared on the TV reality show Blind Date.[4]

On February 4, 2008, Greene announced his retirement from track and field in Beijing, citing nagging injuries and a wish to see new individuals succeed in the sport. Greene said he hopes to pursue coaching and business interests.[5]

In April 2008, the New York Times reported that Greene had paid Mexican discus thrower Angel Guillermo Heredia $10,000, which Heredia claimed was in payment for performance enhancing drugs. Greene admitted meeting Heredia and making the payment, but claimed it was common for him to pay for "stuff" for other members of his training group, and reiterated that he had never used banned drugs.[6]

Greene dated model Claudia Jordan. Greene was a contestant on Season 7 of Dancing With The Stars, and was paired with two-time champion Cheryl Burke. He was eliminated on Week 8 of the competition, taking 5th place.[7] He hyperextended his leg during the competition. He later helped out in their pro-dancer competition and danced a Tango with future winner Anna Demidova. Greene also appeared on the American television series Blind Date where he was paired with a woman named Christie. Greene and Christie agreed that they would see each other again. He has a tattoo that reads GOAT referring to his claim to be "Greatest Of All Time"[8][9]


In an event set up by ESPN's Todd Gallagher, Greene appeared in the book "Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan" racing in a 100 meter race against the book's editor, who had a 31-meter head start and the help of a moving sidewalk. Greene lost by a nose.[10]

Personal bests

Date Event Venue Time
Tied 50 m world record with Donovan Bailey, but time not ratified 5.56
March 2, 1998 & March 3, 2001 60 m current world record Madrid & Atlanta, GA 6.39
June 16, 1999 100 m former world record Athens, Greece 9.79 (+0.1 m/s wind)
July 7, 1997 200 m Stockholm, Sweden 19.86 (+1.6 m/s wind)


Year Tournament Venue Result Event
1995 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics Barcelona, Spain 4th 60 m
1997 IAAF World Championships in Athletics Athens, Greece 1st 100 m
1997 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1st 100 m
1998 Goodwill Games New York City, New York 1st 100 m
1998 Goodwill Games New York City, New York 1st 4x100 m relay
1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics Maebashi, Japan 1st 60 m
1999 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1st 200 m
1999 IAAF World Championships in Athletics Sevilla, Spain 1st 100 m
1999 IAAF World Championships in Athletics Sevilla, Spain 1st 200 m
1999 IAAF World Championships in Athletics Sevilla, Spain 1st 4x100 m relay
1999 IAAF Grand Prix Final Munich, Germany 2nd 200 m
2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Sacramento, California 1st 100 m
2000 2000 Summer Olympics Sydney, Australia 1st 100 m
2001 IAAF World Championships in Athletics Edmonton, Alberta 1st 100 m
2002 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Palo Alto, California 1st 100 m
2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Sacramento, California 1st 100 m
2004 2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece 3rd 100 m

Dancing with the Stars

Week Dance(s)/Song(s) Inaba Goodman Tonioli Result
1 Foxtrot/"Doing it to Death"
Mambo/"I Do the Jerk"
2 Rumba/"Mercy Mercy Me" 7 6 6 Safe
3 Jive/"Rock Around the Clock" 8 8 8 Safe
4 Samba/"That's the Way (I Like It)" 6 7 7 Safe
5 Salsa/"Everything I Can't Have" 9 9 9 Safe
6 Viennese Waltz/"Gravity" 7 7 7 Safe
7 Cha-Cha-Cha/"Cupid Shuffle"
Team Paso Doble/"Rocks"
Quarter Finals
Quickstep/"Puttin' on the Ritz"
Paso Doble/"Let it Rock"


External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Denmark Wilson Kipketer
Men's Track & Field ESPY Award
Succeeded by
United States Michael Johnson
Preceded by
United States Michael Johnson
Men's Track & Field ESPY Award
2001 – 2002
Succeeded by
United States Tim Montgomery

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