Childhood & Early Life
He was born on July 23, 1974, in Kansas City, Kansas, United States, to Jackie Greene and Ernest Greene. His three siblings are Kelly Greene, Michael Greene and Ernest Greene Jr.
He studied in the ‘F.L. Schlagle High School’, a public high school in Kansas City. During his school days he used to play and participate in American football and track and field events. His immense potentiality in track and field earned him a Track scholarship to the ‘University of Kansas’.
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His first significant international tournament happened in 1995 at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics held in Gothenburg, Sweden. He could reach till the quarter finals in 100m.
The next season was also not that promising for him as he could not make to the American team for the Summer Olympics of 1996 held in Atlanta.
Thereafter he headed for Los Angeles to train under former ‘UCLA’ coach John Walton Smith and joined the elite track and field training group ‘Hudson Smith International’ (HIS). Gradually he became the most noticeable athlete of the group.
In the next season (1997), he bagged the 100m title at the World Championships held at Athens, Greece - the first gold medal of his career. The event also marked his foothold in the 100m race.
In 1998 Goodwill games held at New York City, he succeeded in winning a gold medal in 100m and yet another in the 4×100 m relay.
He was at the zenith of his career in 1999, which seemed to be a year of accomplishments for him. He won a gold medal in the 60m sprint at the 7th IAAF World Indoor Championships at Maebashi, Japan, during March that year. He then triumphed in the 100m dash at the 7th World Championships in Athletics held at Seville, Spain, in August that year.
He added another feather in his cap in 1999 by capturing gold in the 200m race at the 7th World Championships in Athletics. With this he became the first athlete to win both the 100m and 200m sprint events at the World Championships. Another feat of Greene that year remains winning gold in the men’s 4×100 m relay at the World Championships.
He surpassed the standing 100m world record of 9.84 s (+0.7 m/s wind) made by former Canadian Sprinter Donovan Bailey by setting a new world record at 9.79 s (+0.1 m/s wind) in 1999. Although his record was beaten in 2002 by another American sprinter Tim Montgomery, who set the new world record of 100m in 9.78 s +2.0 m/s, the latter’s record was later annulled due to his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Greene’s record was finally surpassed by Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell in 2005 with a time of 9.77 s (+1.6 m/s wind).
His two Olympic Games gold medals came in 2000 Olympics held at Sydney, Australia, first in the 100m dash and the second in the men’s 4×100 m relay. However due to an injury incurred during the US trials, he was unable to take part in the 200m dash.
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His crowning gold medal came with the 100m sprint of the 8th World Championships in Athletics, held in August of 2001 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
He managed a bronze medal in 100m at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games held in Athens, and a silver medal in the men’s 4×100 m relay event.
Overall, he had a record of running 53 races of 100m in his career which he finished in sub-10 seconds. Powell beat this record with his 88 races of 100m completed in sub-10 seconds. Greene’s record of most wind-legal sub-10s in 100m in one season that encompassed 9 sub-10s runs, a feat that he achieved in 1999 was also beaten by Powell in 2006 with 12 such runs.
He featured as stranger #10 in the NBC reality/game show ‘Identity’, on December 21, 2006.
His injuries forced him to miss races and he finally took a call on February 4, 2008, announcing his retirement from track and field while he was in Beijing.
After bidding adieu to his track career, Greene appeared on several TV shows. He took part in the American dance competition show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in its seventh season pairing up with American dancer, model and TV Host Cheryl Burke, a two time champion of the competition. The program is aired on ABC in the US and on CTV/CTV Two in Canada. He also participated in the American dating game show ‘Blind Date’.
At present he hosts a monthly show called ‘Greene Light’ that is shown in Eurosport. Imminent athletic stars such as Churandy Martina, Allyson Felix and Blanka Vlašić appeared on the show.