May 23, 2022

Olympic track star Kenny Moore passes away at 78-years-old

Sports heroes of yesteryear make an indelible mark on American popular culture and history. Sadly, one of those heroes has passed away.

Kenny Moore, two-time Olympic track star and prolific sportswriter, passed away Wednesday, Sports Illustrated reported. He was 78 years old.

Moore began his career as a collegiate athlete at the University of Oregon under legendary Ducks’ track coach Bill Bowerman. He earned All-American accolades and helped his team capture two national titles. Moore also held the national record for the mile and the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Then Moore secured a spot at the 1968 Olympics, where he finished 14th in the mile despite painful blisters, and again in the 1972 Olympics. Moore placed fourth that time.

During that same period, he also managed to clinch first place in the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race for six years in a row. Moore even went on to break his own record — twice — during his stint at the top between 1968 and 1973.

However, Moore’s skills went beyond his athleticism. In 1972, the track star became a contract writer at Sports Illustrated mostly covering track, including David Moorcroft’s storied 1983 world-record-setting 5,000-meter. Moore remained on staff at the publication until 1995.

He then turned his attention to writing books, including his most notable work, “Bowerman and the Men of Oregon.” In it, he told the story of his former coach, who went on to co-found Nike and revolutionize the athletic shoe market.  Not only was Moore one of the athletes Bowerman had coached, but he had also been one of his first athletes to try out the innovation.

Athletes deserve a prominent place in society, not only because of their rare physical abilities but because of the lessons they teach through their chosen sports. Moore’s talent on the track was an inspiration, but his true legacy will be his talent for sharing the stories of others.

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