SEPTEMBER 12, 1983
On Sept. 11, two-time Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses was in Derry, Northern Ireland, preparing for a three-day retreat with 100 Catholic and Protestant children designed to bring these often antagonistic youngsters together. Upon hearing of the terrorist attacks in the U.S., members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which had organized the retreat, discussed whether to cancel it. Moses, the Laureus chairman, insisted that the retreat go on. "There were a couple of kids who were roughnecks, but they came away a lot more peaceful," he says. "Knowing that you have an opportunity to change their way of thinking makes this all worth it."
The son of Dayton elementary school educators, Moses, 46, has never been afraid to try new things. After retiring from track in 1988, a year after his unprecedented streak of 107 victories in the 400-meter hurdles had ended, he had a brief stint as a bobsledder in the early '90s and then earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine in '94. Moses moved to Atlanta and spent five years at Salomon Smith Barney managing the finances of high-profile investors, including George Steinbrenner. After working 60- to 70-hour weeks, however, "I just got burned out," he says. "I wanted to get back into public speaking and do something worthwhile."
In November 1999 gold medal decathlete Daley Thompson suggested Moses join Laureus, a volunteer group of 42 retired world-class athletes who receive corporate funding to run international sports programs. Moses has served on the advisory boards of the IOC's ethics commission and the substance-abuse division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, but his commitment to Laureus is far more extensive. Last year he flew enough to circle the earth three times, and so far in 2002 he has logged 27,000 miles on journeys to, among other places, South Africa, Australia and China. In addition to a home in Atlanta, he has a place in Laguna Hills, Calif., which he stays in frequently in order to visit his six-year-old son, who lives in Southern California with his mother.
When he's not globe-trotting, Moses prefers to cook his meals from scratch. "It's so much healthier, and it helps me stay fit," says the 6'2" Moses, who has maintained his weight at the same 180 pounds he carried as a hurdler. If he needs anchovies for a Caesar salad, he straps on his helmet and backpack and whizzes to the grocery store on his Mercedes mountain bike, which he takes almost everywhere he goes. "People tell me all the time I look like I still go running," he says. "To be honest, I haven't gone running in years."