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Carl Lewis

Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American athlete. He has won 10 Olympic medals, of which 9 are gold, from 1984 to 1996. Also he has won 8 world championship's gold medals, and 1 bronze, from 1983 to 1993.

Carl Lewis is considered the greatest athlete of all time by many people.

Although Carl was born in Birmingham, Alabama, he grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey, in the Philadelphia area. At age 13, Lewis started to compete in the long jump. With his high sprinting speed, he also performed well in the sprint events. In 1980, Carl was selected for the US Olympic team, but the American boycott of the Games in Moscow delayed Lewis' debut.

The following seasons, Lewis set seasons best performances in the 100 m and long jump. At the inaugural World Championships in 1983, Lewis won his first major titles, achieving victory in the 100 m, long jump and the 4 x 100 m relay events.

This made him a great favourite for success at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Also entering the 200 m, Lewis sought to equal Jesse Owens' performance of 1936 by winning these four events, which he did.

After he had repeated his 1983 performance at the World Championships in Rome in 1987, he was set for four more golds at the 1988 Olympics. However, things did not all go his way. He won the 100 m, but only after Ben Johnson had been disqualified for a doping offence. It has since become known that Lewis himself had failed a drug test before the games, although he was subsequently cleared by the IAAF. In the 200 m, he was surprisingly beaten by compatriot Joe DeLoach. The 4 x 100 m relay team was disqualified in the heats (with Lewis not even running) due to a bad exchange. Lewis had no problems defending his long jump title and headed an all-American podium.

After 1988, Lewis' dominance in the sprint events began to wane, though his long jump performance was still excellent. However, he was challenged in that event as well, as compatriot Mike Powell won an exciting duel at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, in which the legendary record of Bob Beamon from 1968 was finally broken.

At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, another duel between the two was decided in favour of Lewis, winning his third consecutive Olympic long jump title. Lewis also ran the last leg of the American 4 x 100 m team.

In the years that followed, Lewis did not win any major titles. In 1996 - aged 36 - he made a strong comeback in the long jump event, and made a bid for a fourth consecutive Olympic title. Lewis succeeded with remarkable ease, becoming only the third Olympian to win four consecutive titles in an individual event - the two others being Al Oerter (discus throw 1956-1968) and Paul Elvstrøm (yachting, 1948-1960). Lewis and Oerter are the only two to have won the same event at four consecutive Olympics; Elvstrøm won in two different events. If Lewis would have qualified for the 4 x 100 m team, he could have won his tenth Olympic gold, surpassing his countryman Ray Ewry as the most successful male Olympian.

Carl Lewis recorded a single called "Break It Up" in 1987 with his band Carl Lewis and the Electric Storm.

Lewis retired after the Atlanta Olympics and is now an actor.


  • 1983 - World Championship - 3 gold (100 m, long jump and 400 m relay)
  • 1984 - Olympic Games - 4 gold (100 m, 200 m, long jump and 400 m relay)
  • 1987 - World Championship - 3 gold (100 m, long jump and 400 m relay)
  • 1988 - Olympic Games - 2 gold (100 m, long jump), 1 silver (200 m)
  • 1991 - World Championship - 2 gold (100 m and 400 m relay), 1 silver (long jump)
  • 1992 - Olympic Games - 2 gold (long jump and 400 m relay)
  • 1993 - World Championship - 1 bronze (200 m)
  • 1996 - Olympic Games - 1 gold (long jump)

Personal bests

  • 100 m: 9.86 s (1991, new world record)
  • 200 m : 19.75 s (1983)
  • Long jump: 8.87 m (1991)
  • 400 m relay: 37.40 s (1992, current world record)

External links

  • Official Website
  • Relays Hall of Fame
  • Olympic gold hero accuses Bush,13918,1293292,00.html - interview with Carl Lewis from The Guardian

Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 100 m
Tom Burke | Frank Jarvis | Archie Hahn | Reggie Walker | Ralph Craig | Charlie Paddock | Harold Abrahams | Percy Williams | Eddie Tolan | Jesse Owens | Harrison Dillard | Lindy Remigino | Bobby Joe Morrow | Armin Hary | Bob Hayes | Jim Hines | Valeri Borzov | Hasely Crawford | Allan Wells | Carl Lewis | Linford Christie | Donovan Bailey | Maurice Greene | Justin Gatlin

Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 200 m
John Tewksbury | Archie Hahn | Bobby Kerr | Ralph Craig | Allen Woodring | Jackson Scholz | Percy Williams | Eddie Tolan | Jesse Owens | Mel Patton | Andy Stanfield | Bobby Joe Morrow | Livio Berruti | Henry Carr | Tommie Smith | Valeri Borzov | Don Quarrie | Pietro Mennea | Carl Lewis | Joe DeLoach | Mike Marsh | Michael Johnson | Konstantinos Kenteris | Shawn Crawford

Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in men's long jump
Ellery Clark | Alvin Kraenzlein | Meyer Prinstein (twice) | Frank Irons | Albert Gutterson | William Pettersson | William DeHart Hubbard | Ed Hamm | Ed Gordon | Jesse Owens | Willie Steele | Willie Steele | Jerome Biffle | Greg Bell | Ralph Boston | Lynn Davies | Bob Beamon | Randy Williams | Arnie Robinson | Lutz Dombrowski | Carl Lewis (four times) | Iván Pedroso | Dwight Phillips

Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 4x100 m relay

1912 Great Britain David Jacobs, Henry Macintosh, Victor d'Arcy & William Applegarth
1920 United States Charlie Paddock, Jackson Scholz, Loren Murchison & Morris Kirksey
1924 United States Loren Murchison, Louis Clarke, Frank Hussey & Alfred LeConey
1928 United States Frank Wykoff, James Quinn, Charles Borah & Henry Russell
1932 United States Robert Kiesel, Emmett Toppino, Hector Dyer & Frank Wykoff
1936 United States Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Foy Draper & Frank Wykoff
1948 United States Barney Ewell, Lorenzo Wright, Harrison Dillard & Mel Patton
1952 United States Dean Smith, Harrison Dillard, Lindy Remigino & Andy Stanfield
1956 United States Ira Murchison, Leamon King, Thane Baker & Bobby Joe Morrow
1960 United team of Germany Bernd Cullmann, Armin Hary, Walter Mahlendorf & Martin Lauer
1964 United States Otis Drayton, Gerald Ashworth, Richard Stebbins & Bob Hayes
1968 United States Charles Greene, Melvin Pender, Ronnie Ray Smith & Jim Hines
1972 United States Larry Black, Robert Taylor, Gerald Tinker & Edward Hart
1976 United States Harvey Glance, John Wesley Jones, Millard Hampton & Steven Riddick
1980 Soviet Union Vladimir Muravyov, Nikolay Sidorov, Aleksandr Aksinin & Andrey Prokofyev
1984 United States Sam Graddy, Ron Brown, Calvin Smith & Carl Lewis
1988 Soviet Union Viktor Bryzgin, Vladimir Krylov, Vladimir Muravyov & Vitaly Savin
1992 United States Mike Marsh, Leroy Burrell, Dennis Mitchell & Carl Lewis
1996 Canada Robert Esmie, Glenroy Gilbert, Bruny Surin & Donovan Bailey
2000 United States Jon Drummond, Bernard Williams, Brian Lewis & Maurice Greene
2004 Great Britain Jason Gardener, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish & Mark Lewis-Francis

Last updated: 02-10-2005 22:07:59
Last updated: 03-02-2005 05:50:49