23 November 2012 – Barcelona, Spain – The IAAF Centenary weekend will be seeing some of the world’s biggest stars of the present and past grace the celebrations. We put Maurice Greene (USA), the 2000 Olympic 100m champion, under the spotlight and asked him 10 quick-fire questions, a few serious, a few fun, on Friday (23).
Who is your favourite athlete of the past 100 years?
How can you pick just one athlete out of all of them? Bob Beamon, Dick Fosbury, Jesse Owens – those three guys truly did something for their sport. Jesse Owens, not only because he competed in my event, but because of the things that he overcame. Dick Fosbury is the only guy I know that really and truly changed a sport, period. And Bob’s accomplishments are just tremendous. We have so many great athletes it’s hard to pick just one – that’s the beauty of this sport.
What’s your favourite athletics moment of the past 100 years?
When I won! Olympics, World Champs – all of the above!
If you could change one thing in world athletics, what would it be?
I would like to see our sport get a little more publicity.
Why should people choose athletics as a sport?
Because it doesn’t matter who you are, you can find something in athletics that you can do. If you can’t run fast, you can run far. If you can’t run far, you can jump. If you can’t jump high, you can jump long or use a pole to jump. If you can’t throw something heavy, you can throw the javelin. Everybody in the world – I don’t care who you are – they can try every event and they will be able to do at least one of them.
Where do you see athletics 100 years from now?
Hopefully in a great place.
Of all the venues you competed at, which is your favourite?
I’d have to say one of my most favourite races was the Goodwill Games in Uniondale, New York. The way it was set up, the athletes had to walk through a crowd of people to get to the track. As I think back to the race I’m hearing people yell Donovan’s name just as much as mine and Ato’s name just as much as mine so it was a very unique experience.
And obviously I love to compete in Athens, that was something special. What I was able to achieve in Athens in my career , and with it being the birth place of our sport, it’s just great.
If a film star had to play you in a movie about your career, who would it be?
Me! It’s gotta be me!
If you could pick three athletes from the past 100 years to have a dinner party with, who would it be?
Jesse Owens and probably the other two athletes I mentioned earlier – Dick Fosbury and Bob Beamon.
If you had to bake a cake for the IAAF Centenary celebrations, what would it be?
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF