Carl Lewis Biography

Lewis qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 1980 but did not compete because of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. At the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, Lewis won gold medals in the 100-metre (9.9 sec) and 200-metre (19.8 sec) races, the long jump (8.54 m [28 feet 1/4 inch]), and the 4 « 100-metre relay, where he anchored the U.S. team. Lewis became the third track-and-field athlete to win four gold medals in one Olympics, joining Americans Al Kraenzlein (1900) and Jesse Owens, the latter of whom won the same four events at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Lewis added two more gold medals and a silver medal at the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea, becoming the first Olympic athlete to win consecutive long-jump gold medals with a leap of 8.72 m (28 feet 7 1/4 inches). Lewis had the four best jumps in the competition, and his Olympic title was part of a long string of consecutive long-jump victories that extended over several years during the 1980s. Lewis’ other gold medal at the 1988 Games came in the 100 metres (9.92 sec), after Canadian Ben Johnson, who had won in world record time (9.79 sec), was disqualified three days later after testing positive for anabolic steroids. Lewis settled for a silver in the 200 metres, where he was defeated by Joe DeLoach.
At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Lewis won two more gold medals, including his third consecutive long-jump title with a leap of 8.67 m (28 feet 5 1/2 inches). Again anchoring the American 4 « 100-metre relay team, Lewis won his eighth gold medal as the U.S. team set a world and Olympic record of 37.40 sec. He won his fourth consecutive long-jump title and ninth gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. In 1997 he retired from competition.
“Lewis, Carl” Encyclopædia Britannica


Recipient of U Thant Peace Award, Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart Award from Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations.

IAAF Top Male Athlete of the 20th Century

Sports Illustrated’s Century’s Best Olympian