I just posted a piece by Peter Thompson on the late Kenny Moore. I now publish a piece by Mike Fanelli.
Truth is, Mike Fanelli is the biggest track geek that I know, and his daily soliloquies on the sport warm more hearts in our sport than anyone I know. Mike wrote this touching piece on his daily Facebook column about the finest writer in our sport, Kenny Moore.
(You also should friend Mike Fanelli, if you are really a track geek).
Thanks to Mike for allowing me to repost some of his wonderful pieces.
Kenny Moore warming up at old Hayward Field, photo courtesy of University of Oregon communications
IT PAINS ME DEEPLY to share the news of Kenny Moore’s passing earlier this morning. He did so very peacefully at the age of 78 with his devoted soulmate Connie by his side at their Hawaii home.
I cannot think of many other Americans who delivered more passion to our beloved sport…as an athlete, journalist, activist, and remarkably warm human being.
His accolades are many. His writing, is pure poetry. His athletics career, is legendary. As an activist, his efforts assisted in the release of Mamo Wolde from an Ethiopian prison.
Kenny represented the USA in two Olympic marathons, 1968 and 1972.
At the Mexico City Games, he roomed with Tommie Smith. When the Olympic gold medalist was booted from the Athlete’s Village for his human rights podium ‘statement’, it was Kenny who literally spent the next few days sorting the incoming hate mail.
Later that week, when he eventually entered the Olympic Stadium with less than a full revolution of the oval remaining, he took time out from his final kick to the finish, in order to dance a little jig as he ran past the high jump pit where Dick Fosbury had just completed his ‘giant leap for mankind.
In Munich, the North Eugene H.S. and University of Oregon alum finished fourth in the marathon…just missing the bronze that was earned instead by…Mamo Wolde.
If you haven’t read his magnum opus, ‘Bowerman and the Men of Oregon’, you positively must…in my opinion, THE best track book ever written.
I cannot say that I knew Kenny real well, but, whenever we did chat, (usually alongside the fence line in the corner of Hayward Field adjacent to the 1500 start) he was always so welcoming. I’d re-introduce myself and he’d say “yes, I know who you are…Gary’s brother who lives in San Francisco.”
As an aspiring track and field journalist, no one’s writings have been more influential upon me…period.
There’s SO much to say about the passing of this reluctant icon. I hope that those of you who knew him might consider sharing an anecdote with us here.
Safe travels friend. Rest in forever peace.