Hines considered Greene the greatest threat in the gold medal race, he told The Tribune, but added, “To tell the truth, I’m faster than he is.”
In Mexico City, Hines burst out of the blocks and ran with the wind at his back, eyes wide and teeth clenched as he tore to the front of the pack and broke the tape.
“It was the best start I had in my life, and it was the best 100 I ever raced,” he said afterward.
His 100-meter record stood until 1983, when Calvin Smith broke it with a speed of 9.93. The website for World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, lists Usain Bolt as the current world-record holder, with a time of 9.58, set in 2009 at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.
Hines won another gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, helping his teammates Pender, Greene and Ronnie Ray Smith triumph in the 4×100 men’s relay for the United States.
After completing the 1968 track and field season, Hines, coveted for his speed, played in the American Football League. He joined the Miami Dolphins as a receiver, and in doing so gave up any further chance to compete in the Olympics, which at the time required athletes to be amateurs.
He played with Miami in 1969 but recorded only two receptions and one rush attempt during the season. The Dolphins then traded him to the Kansas City Chiefs, but he did not play in the 1970 season and soon left professional football behind.