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Biography - Carl Lewis
[b]On Carl Lewis[/b][br /]

"…One of the greatest competitors of all time…He always wanted to be in the arena. He loved the sport. He wanted to compete. He trained hard. His body didn’t dissipate."[br /]

– Tom Tellez[br /]

[Coach of Carl Lewis][br /]

"Carl is the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen, and he proved it time and again."[br /]

– Mel Rosen[br /]

[1992 Olympic coach][br /]

"When I think of track and field I think of Carl Lewis, I call him king. I rarely call him Carl."[br /]

– Gwen Torrence [br /]

[The 1992 women’s Olympic 200 champ][br /]

"You try to give a man a gold watch, and he steals your gold medal instead. You ask him to pass the torch, and he sets your Olympics on fire."[br /]

– Rick Reilly[br /]

[For Sports Illustrated, 1996][br /]

"Carl is the entity in the 100 meters… When he gets into a race, he changes the way athletes think. When he enters the 100 meters, he will be some sort of a factor in the race even if it’s just a mental factor. It’s hard for young athletes to run against something like that, to run against a living legend."[br /]

– Dennis Mitchell[br /]

[A Famous Sprinter][br /]

"Lewis’ liberating cool liberates him, not necessarily us, we might understand him best as forged by the 100, holding on to his solitude until the pack falls away."[br /]

– Kenny Moore [br /]

[For Sports Illustrated][br /]

In the afternoon of August 4, 1984, all world-class runners were lined up on the track in the stadium of Los Angeles for the Summer Olympic Games, waiting for the start of the 100 meters final. Almost 10 seconds later, all their past performances were surpassed, all their hard-won titles and records had been eclipsed by one of them, who had created history. This man won the competition clocking 9.99 seconds. He claimed the Olympic Gold and was bestowed with the title : The Fastest Man on Earth.[br /]
And thus, the legend Carl Lewis was born.[br /]
[br /]
[b]The Athletic Heritage[/b][br /]

Carlton Fredrick Lewis was born on July 1, 1961 in Birmingham, Alabama, the same country as Jesse Owens. Two of the greatest athletes, whose lives began in a similar vein, as their families were sports-oriented. Carl’s mother, Evelyn (née Lawler) also born in Alabama, was one of the world’s top hurdlers during the early 1950s. His father Bill was from Chicago and was an American football player and also a good sprinter, a 49-second quarter-miler. He had run the 880 yards in his college days.[br /]
Carl’s family had always been to the events. Apart from being sports lovers, his parents were also interested in the civil rights movements. Evelyn and Bill met at Tusgigi. They happened to meet while serving as teachers there. They were actually in Montgomery during the bus strike when they decided to get married. Both of them cared for their community and even provided conveyance to their neighbors at the time of bus strike in the town.[br /]
Carl’s father was involved with Martin Luther King, the leading reformist and Black political leader of the US. This relationship continued long as the Lewis couple participated in the different marches under his leadership. His parents were very active in such social and political movements. Carl says for his parents. "I’m not saying my parents were more special than anyone else, but they were part of that whole era of incredible people that did such incredible things. That’s where they developed their political views of doing what is right… people say I was doing my own thing in track. Yes, because of my upbringing, I don’t have problem with doing what you think is right even if it is extremely unpopular. Didn’t they use to say Martin Luther King was doing his own thing ? The great people of that era really stuck together and did the right thing : And I believe in doing the right thing."[br /][br /]

Carl’s elder brothers, Mack and Cleveland were quality sportsmen and his younger sister, Carol, became one of the world’s top long jumpers and also the first American woman to clear 7 meters. Among his elder brothers, Mack was an impressive man who could run 100 yards in 9.7 seconds and Cleveland was a professional soccer player.[br /][br /]

He had no memories of the Deep South, as he was only two when his family moved to the suburb of Willingboro in New Jersey. Carl was brought up in the pleasant atmosphere of Philadelphia. His parents got jobs as teachers at the local high school and also began to work as coaches at the track club there. As Carl was breathing in a sporting background it was obvious that his parents’ expectations of him were very high. It seemed natural that young Carl would follow in the family tradition. But the good thing with Carl’s parents was their lenient nature. They raised their children with the idea that they didn’t have to bend to authority for the sake of authority. It reflects in the words of Carl’s elder brother Cleveland : "We don’t like outside influence and we don’t like control."[br /]
[br /]
[b]Childhood Dream[/b][br /]
The first spark to become an athlete flashed in Carl’s mind when he was seven. While watching Bob Beamon’s miraculous world record jump of 8.90 meters during the 1968 Olympics on television, the little boy was so impressed that he went out in his garden to measure the length of a limousine in order to know how far Bob flew ![br /][br /]

Since that day, he began dreaming of making a 28-foot jump by any means. But for that he was so thin and tiny that the family doctor suggested his parents to make him exercise. Carl started exercising and participating in junior level sports competitions.[br /]

Initially, Carl was a slow starter. At one stage, it seemed that he might be the only member of the family not to excel in sports, as his siblings showed more promise than he did. Carl was a shy child, and always sought isolation. For a time, he looked smaller than his sister Carol who was two years younger to him. His friends and family members had nicknamed him, ‘Shorty’.[br /]
[br /]
Carl was always a quiet and disciplined student at school. Besides studies, he was interested in various other fields. He was interested in music and learnt to play musical instruments and to sing and dance and would spend hours enjoying his hobbies. In sports, his initial love was soccer, which he played with brother Cleveland as 'forward'. He engaged himself in a variety of sports – soccer, diving, running, jumping[br /]
[br /]
He was not good at sports initially. As he himself admits, "I was kind of a slow learner and a non-developer, or whatever you want to call it…. And it was interesting to see my brothers and even Carol far exceeding the things I could do. They were all very successful at a young age and I was just the opposite. I was reserved and shy, but as time went on, I started to evolve, to mature and grow a little bit, then the talent just came to me."[br /]
And it was true; in school and in the sports club, boys of his age were performing better than he did. Even Carol used to beat him regularly on the track that his parents had made for the children around their garden.[br /]
[br /]
[b]Resilient Lad[/b]
[br /]
[br /]
Until he entered high school, he didn’t develop well physically.[br /]
In his early years, two events happened that helped him to set his feet in the field of athletics.[br /]

One of the teachers at his school thrashed Carl for turning up in the classroom on crutches. Carl did this to support his damaged knee. Recalling the day, Carl says, "I had a knee problem which was associated with me growing so fast at that particular time…" and when Carl explained the problem to his mathematics teacher, he rudely uttered, "Yeah, you little jerk, you’re not going to be an athlete or anything like one !" The way his teacher blew off was very frustrating for the young boy.[br /]

"But at the same time", viewing it positively, Carl says, "it helped, because it made me want to go on and prove him wrong."[br /]

In another event, while playing soccer, he fell foul with the school coach, who complained that Carl was ‘uncoachable’ and would never do anything in sport. But this incident didn’t disappoint him, instead it served to lead him towards better things.[br /]

Carl was lucky to have a family that continued encouraging him whenever he was confused. But the Lewis family was not dedicated to sports only, there were many other shades too. The parents were aware that their children needed other diversions as well, so they allowed them to indulge in all leisure activities. At a young age, Carl became a movie buff and regularly visited the cinema. In the local church choir, he sang with Carol and also learned to play the cello. All these things developed cultural side in his character that has become part of Carl today.[br /]
[br /]

[b]Jesse Owens : Long Lasting Inspiration[/b][br /][br /]

When Carl was 12, he came in contact with a person who became a source of inspiration for him. He was the great athlete Jesse Owens. At an Owens Track and Field Meet, a nationwide celebration for the youngsters, his father introduced Carl to Owens. Carl was impressed by him at first sight. In his childhood, Carl had a deep impact of sprinter Steve Williams and long jumper Arnie Robinson. Jesse Owens, who had crossed the first half of his life, joined Carl’s childhood heroes.[br /]
[br /]
One day, after having sung in the chorus of the church, he went to play with his friends. While playing, he stumbled and got injured in the right knee. The wound was so deep that the doctor stated, "He will never jump like before." But he made up his mind to become a long jumper and at the age of 13, he proved himself by jumping 5.51 meters. Starting with confidence, he made good progress in the following years with jumps of 6.07 meters, 6.93 meters. 7.26 meters and 7.85 meters till the age of 17.[br /]
[br /]
Carl was turning out to be a promising young sportstar.[br /]
[br /]
[b]The Explosion[/b][br /]
[br /]
In 1976, the metamorphosis began and Carl grew taller by two and a half inches surprisingly. He was now a superbly built athlete standing 1.88 meters tall and weighing 176 lbs. That year, he began to jump over 20 feet. The remarkable progress was in the 100 yards. He improved upon his timing of 10.6 seconds to 9.3 seconds. He was considered a youth who held a lot of promise. In the AAU junior championships, he stood forth and ran the 100 meters in 10.5 seconds, his personal best.[br /]
[br /]
It was not until 1979 that his athletic career really took off. Still he was under the careful coaching of his parents. In an Illinois high school meet, Carl broke the US high school record and a world best for a 17-year-old, leaping an impressive 8.07 meters. Soon after that competition, he was placed second in the US senior championships with a leap of 8.09 meters. His wonderful triumph was published by Track of Field News, the most eminent track and field journal in the US, highlighting Carl Lewis as,[br /]
[br /]
A Tall, Lean High-Schooler[br /]

With Mind Boggling Potential[br /]
[br /]

His remarkable performance earned him a place in the national team, allowing him to take part in the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, he arrived an hour late at the place of the competition as trainers mistakenly gave him a wrong program of the games. The judges allowed him to compete after Carl explained the situation. It was the sixth day after his 18th birthday, when he won the bronze medal with 8.13 meters in the final jump. He had equaled the world record of Jesse Owens, which had stood from 1935 to 1960. At the end of that year, Lewis was ranked fifth in the world ranking of long jump.[br /]
[br /]
The same year, he met a charismatic trainer, Tom Tellez, at the University of Houston where he took admission. Tellez’s keen eyes immediately[br /]
[br /]
recognized Lewis’ mettle. Tellez, the key man behind the athletic careers of triple jumper Willie Banks and high jumper Dwight Stones, invited Lewis for coaching. Lewis accepted the invitation and the pair rewrote history in the field of athletics.[br /]
[br /]
Tellez completely changed Lewis’ long jumping style. He also improved his sprint skills so much that in the next year Lewis made a clean sweep of the sprints in the 1980 US junior championships.[br /]
[br /][br /]

[b]Boycott of Moscow Olympics[/b][br /]
[br /]

Lewis qualified for the US Olympic team for 1980 Games at Moscow. But he couldn’t compete because the US participation at the Games was canceled by then President Jimmy Carter as a protest against the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR. America’s decision not to participate in the 1880 Olympics, prevented Lewis to grab the golden opportunity at the dawn of his athletic career.[br /]
[br /]
Although, the so-called Olympic trials began as per schedule, Lewis made the ‘shadow’ team in the long jump and was also selected for the relay team along with sprinters Floyd, Glance and Lattany. Explaining the state of his mind after missing the Olympics, Lewis says, "It really wasn’t that bad for me, because I was 18, when I made the team, and at 19, when we made the alternative tour in Europe, I was young and I felt the world was in front of me. I don’t think I would have won anything any way, but I think I would have got a medal in long jump and I might have run in the relay, but I just looked to the future and I knew I’d be back and I’d have another opportunity."[br /]
[br /]

In the post Olympic tour in Europe, he ranked a poor fifth in the 100 meters because of a nagging foot injury. At the end of 1980, Lewis was ranked sixth in the long jump and seventh in the 100 meters at the world level.[br /]
[br /]
During the winter of 1981, Lewis was strictly following a weight-training program devised by his coach Tellez to develop his strength and organize hind power. Carl considers himself lucky to have a coach like Tom, saying : "Luckily, I was able to get to the best coach…Tom Tellez. I couldn’t coach myself."[br /]
[br /]
The benefits were apparent with the inauguration of the indoor season in February 1981, when he surpassed 60 yards in 6.06 seconds. It was very near the world record. He also tried to smash Larry
Myricks’ indoor long jump world mark, leaping 8.49 meters. In New York, he was placed second behind Myricks with a jump of 8.06 in the US Indoor Championships, a week later. It was the last time in Lewis’ 17-year career that he lost in the long jump event.[br /]
[br /]
The march of his victories started with the coming events. Lewis concedes : "We’ve had a lot of rocky times, and there were times when I almost didn’t win, but right now the long jump is the best it’s ever been. There are lots of good jumpers out there, but the key factor for me is that I just know a lot more about the event. I understand the approach, the adjustments, what I need to do at the board and how to leave it."[br /]
[br /]
But for Lewis, one thing was more important than any other title or award. It was to break Bob Beamon’s record that was once considered simply impossible. Lewis concentrated on his target. He explains, "It may not make sense, but 29 feet is more important than 29 ft 2½ in, … I believe in barriers and 29 feet is my next barrier, my goal, and if I achieve that then we’re talking such a small extra distance that I don’t think that will be such a big deal. Because once I jump 29 feet I’ll know why I did and how I did it and I’ll know how to duplicate it. I’m not saying I’ll go out and jump it five times a meet but I definitely believe that when I do it I’ll understand it so well I’ll be able to do it again."[br /]
[br /]
n May 1981, he performed well in Dallas, leaping 8.25 meters and running a 10 seconds flat 100 meters surpassing his previous wind-legal best by 0.21 of a second. Following this success with another major double he again won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles in the long jump and 100 meters. He followed suit at the TAC Championships in Sacramento. He had improved his long jump best to 8.76 meters. He was now being linked to Owens. Although he took it as a great compliment, he declared his desire, "Instead of being a second Owens, I’d like to be the first Carl Lewis."[br /]
[br /]
In the summer, Lewis went to Europe where his performance at the World Championship in Rome was eagerly awaited. But throughout the tour, a hamstring problem dogged him so much that he finished 100 meters in 10.96 – the worst finish in his career. At last he proved himself by winning the long jump. He was ranked first in the 100 meters, ahead of Wells and also his countrymen Floyd and Lattany. Track of Field News elected him the US Athlete of the Year, and placed him second to Sebastian Coe in the world.[br /]
[br /]
At the end of 1981, he was awarded the Sullivan Award as the Best Amateur Sportsman of America. The award is given annually by AAU [Amateur Athletic Union of the United States]. With this, Lewis became the first Black athlete to receive this prestigious title of the top sportsperson, since Wilma Rudolph in the 1960s. Lewis expresses
his happiness, "It was a very gratifying end to a great season, especially the number on ranking, because after Rome I didn’t know if I would get it. I felt very good about that and I really felt I deserved it, because I had run better than anyone, except for one race. But being number one really motivated me and helped me to move on, because a year before everyone had said I couldn’t be a world class jumper and sprinter."[br /]
[br /]
The following year was problematic for Carl as he failed in the history course. The result : the University of Houston declared him academically ineligible. According to Lewis, he had taken the history test but his paper was lost somehow and the school refused re-tests. Carl maintains that the

reasoning behind such action was fear of a much-heralded NCAA investigation into college track programs in America. Eventually, Lewis couldn’t get his athletics scholarship. Now, the only way he had to study was to pay his own fees to complete his degree in TV and radio communication. Somehow, he continued his studies and training at the University.[br /]
[br /]
To get better results he joined the Santa Monica Track Club and appointed Joe Douglas as his manager, who began to negotiate on behalf of Carl and it was the beginning of Carl’s appearances off the track. Until the spring of 1983, he was ready to participate in the Olympic Games the following year. Meanwhile, he worked at a local ABC-TV station intending to get an experience and hoping to work in such medium when he retired from the track.[br /]
[br /]
The next event was beneficial for Lewis. America’s great hurdler Renald Nehemiah had retired, which enabled Lewis to fill the gap. Now, he was projected as a major sporting figure on the national scenario.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]
[b]Before 1984 Olympics[/b][br /]
[br /]
The year 1983 gave Lewis his first real international challenge with the inauguration of the World Championship in Helsinki. At the US trials, he won the 100 meters and in long jump leaped his personal best of 28 ft 10¼ inches. He also won the 200 meters in a US record of 19.75 seconds, but missed crossing the world record. His coach and he decided not to go for longer race at Helsinki, so he won ‘only’ 3 gold medals ! To add to the excitement his sister Carol also won a bronze in long jump. It was the time, when Lewis dreamt of four Golds in the Los Angeles Olympics.[br /]
[br /]
At the US Olympic Committee Sports Festival held at Indianapolis, Lewis leaped a magnificent 8.76 meters, a world best at sea-level. In the US trials, he qualified for his four events – the 100 meters, 200 meters, the long jump and the 4×100 meters relay. Now, everyone expected him to take the place among the track immortals and walk away with four Golds.[br /]
[br /]
For the American public, he was already a winner. He had begun doing commercials for the sports giant Nike and Japanese company Fuji, and accepted many commercial proposals. When the games began, he was already earning around $500,000 a year from Nike. In an interview to the New York Times, Lewis’s manager Douglas declared : "We hope he’ll be a multi-millionaire, but we’ll wait and see. I don’t think anyone knows how much he’ll be worth."[br /]
[br /]
[br /]

[b]All That Glittered Was Gold[/b][br /]
[br /]
Expectations were high and an air of suspense hung on the sports field, that if he did not win all four Golds he would be branded a failure. If he succeeded, no one would be surprised ![br /]
[br /]
Some jealous media-persons wrote in scurrilous language about his private life, suggesting that he was involved in drug taking. Lewis brushed off the allegations : "It didn’t hurt me as much as people think it did… because I knew where it was coming from. It was other athletes in my sport and a lot of the press people wanted something like that to write about, but they couldn’t say it until someone else did. Once they got a little bit they snatched it like a baton on an anchor leg. It didn’t bother me that much because only a couple of these athletes made the team and they didn’t do well."[br /]
[br /]
[b]At last, he managed to reduce the pressure by avoiding the newspapers. Before the competition, when he went on track holding out a huge American flag, a crowd of 92,600 enthusiastic people cheered wildly. His coach emotionally struck out his hand, shook Lewis’ hand and said, "You should have had a world record."
And it did happen. Lewis won the 100 meters in 9.99 seconds, the long jump by leaping 8.54 meters, 200 meters in 19.80 seconds (a new Olympic record) and lastly, anchored the US team to a new world mark of 37.83 seconds in the 4×100 meters relay. He won four gold medals equaling Jesse Owens’ record and became ‘Son of Wind’ and ‘King Carl’ – two titles he held until the end of his career.[/b][br /]
[br /]
Lewis gives credit to his coach Tellez and to his family members also. Recalling the enthusiasm showed by his family at every event he proudly says, "I always knew that whenever I was competing, I could look up into the stands and someone would be there. Carol, my sister, was always a driving force. My mother was very supportive but much more laid-back. My father was much more go get ’em…" Lewis recalls the appreciation from his sister, saying, "Carol was always so supportive. It’s funny. If Carol was in the stadium within 30 seconds of either the start of a jump or a race, I would hear her in the stadium. I can guarantee that there have been times when Carol is up in a booth and I can hear her yelling, Go Carl ! Carol’s like my best friend, the ultimate fan… And my brothers were totally into it too. My mother’s a coach but she’s not there telling me how to pump my arms. Just the fact that they were there. So for anybody, just be there."[br /]
[br /][br /]

[b]Break from the Track[/b][br /]
[br /]
Since then, injuries and other commitments had kept his performances a bit low in 1985 and 1986. He had a surgery on his left knee. On the track he fouled and decided to sit out for the rest of the competition. The crowd booed him as they expected a much better performance from their ‘King’.[br /]
[br /]
Carl explains, "I don’t fault the crowd at all for booing because I don’t think most of them were very knowledgeable about track and field. I do fault the media for making a big deal out of nothing."[br /]
[br /]
After his injury in 1985, he almost disappeared from the sports pages. He moved from his much-publicized house in Houston, which had suffered two robberies and constant rush of visitors. Today, he keeps his address a closely guarded secret. Few people outside his own intimate friends and his family are allowed there.[br /]
[br /]
In 1987, Lewis worked together with Jeffrey Marx on his biography Inside the Track. In the same year, he had to face some sour experiences as he tried to beat Bob Beamon’s long jump record. As it remained unbeaten despite coming very close to it once or twice, it proved to be a frustrating time for Lewis. He decided to take some break and concentrated on acting and singing careers. He signed a couple of movies, some TV appearances, and some records and live shows. For his TV special in Japan, he was published as the ‘new’ Michael Jackson, the famous pop singer. When inquired whether he felt he might be as big as Jackson, Lewis answered : "I can’t sing as well as he can, but he can’t run as fast as I do."[br /]
[br /]
However, he was serious about making acting and music his career next to athletics. He has studied at New York’s Warren Robertson Theatre Workshop and still enjoys writing and composing his own
songs. Explaining this new experience, Lewis says, "To me, it almost feels like athletics, because there’s the preparation, the hard work, study, practice, dedication and the satisfaction of doing it, finishing it and sitting back to enjoy it."[br /]
[br /]
Identifying some similarities between Michael Jackson and himself, he says, "He’s his own person and he keeps people dancing as to what he’s like. In my track world, I do the same thing. People don’t see me very often but when I’m very flashy and outgoing."[br /]
[br /]
[br /]
[b]Big Bull ‘Ben Johnson’[/b][br /]
[br /]
In 1986, a new challenge was emerging. He was Ben Johnson, who defeated and even humiliated Lewis at the Goodwill Games running 9.95 seconds against 10.06 seconds.[br /]
[br /]
This Canadian sprinter was Carl’s exact opposite. Carl was a more reserved and quiet person, whereas Ben was powerful but awful in his running style. Seoul Olympic games were inaugurated in 1988, with the challenge of these two powerful athletes. Ben was poor, and winning a gold medal in the 100 meters in Seoul was the solution to many problems that had dogged him over the years. In the Olympic trials, Lewis won a wind assisted 100 meters in 9.78 seconds and then also defeated Johnson at Zurich. So, for Johnson, Lewis seemed to be a dangerous rival.[br /]
[br /]
The huge upset came to Lewis, as Ben Johnson won the 100 meters at Seoul in 9.79 seconds and Lewis finished second with 9.92 seconds. His whole race was geared to his start, which was his lethal weapon. He always earned two-three meters of advantage than his opponent. His completely different style than other sprinters led to a controversy. A scientific study conducted at the University of Ottawa suggested that his speed was strange among sprinters. At last Professor Gord Robertson explained, "Ben ran high on his toes with the ankle fully extended upwards, just like an animal… Dogs run like that…"[br /]
[br /]
Eventually, while attaining his first gold in Long Jump, the mystery was revealed. It proved that Ben was using steroids. He was disqualified for drug abuse. Lewis automatically became the Olympic champion and the world record holder in 100 meters with 9.92 seconds.[br /]
[br /]
The world recognized him as the great ‘natural’ athlete.[br /]
[br /]
In the coming years, Lewis would win more medals including Olympic gold medals. In 1991, he faced powerful competition at the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. He again won the 100 meters dash and his team won the 4´ 100 meters relay. He had arrived at Japan as the number two sprinter and came out as the number one, setting a fantastic world record of 9.86 seconds.[br /]
[br /]
In 1992, Lewis was preparing for the Barcelona Olympics. During that period a strange thyroid problem made him weaker. Despite it, he defeated his strong contestant Mike Powell in the Long Jump. In this Olympics, Powell struggled for gold but missed by three centimeters. Two days later, in the 4´ 100 meters relay final, Michael Marsh, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell joined Lewis for a world record 37.40. It was the best performance never seen before. He won two gold medals in the 4´ 100m relay and in long jump in the 1992 Olympics. It was his eighth Olympic Gold.[br /]
[br /]
[br /]
[b]Last Lewis[/b][br /]
[br /]
In 1996, Lewis knew that he had to do something extraordinary because in 1994 and 1995, he had performed rather poorly. So he asked his coach Tellez what they needed to do. Tellez proposed, "Let’s try to get your fitness level back. So I want you to get into a weight program." Then he consulted a weight trainer too.[br /]
[br /]
Lewis says, "Also, even though I’d been working on my diet for years and I’d talked to doctors and other people, I got another opinion. I needed to know if I was missing something that could help. I also went to some other doctors about my allergies, which had been giving me problems. The point is, I tried to surround myself with experts who could give me all the information I need to decipher to be the best I could be."[br /]
[br /]
And he proved his mettle during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, by winning his ninth gold medal. He won the fourth straight Olympic Gold in Long Jump. With this victory, Lewis became the fourth man to win a total of nine gold medals in the history of Olympics.[br /]
[br /]
He decided to retire from the game and end his professional career. Next year, he ran some races to satisfy and to greet his fans. The fastest man on earth, Lewis, left the field with a total of 17 Gold medals from Olympic Games and World Championships, proving himself the unparalleled athlete of all times. After nearly a 17-year run, a man who reigned track and field for more than a decade, decided to walk away and the sport lost the Great Olympian of all times.[br /]
[br /]
After retirement, Lewis is working as a trainer and reformist of his society. He is a major supporter of the United Negro College Fund. He is also associated with Wendy Marx Foundation for Organ Donor Awareness. He has a strong interest in politics and is a good public speaker too.[br /]
[br /]
'King Carl’, who always showed diligence, believed strongly in goals. Apart from athletics, he has proved himself the champ in various fields. He is marching ahead, though on a different ‘track’ with the same ‘motto’ that helped him accomplish his goal, that is :[br /]
[br /]
[b]"I Can Do That." [/b]
Most of us feel, many a time, that life is nothing but a determined sprint to achieve one’s desired goals. One, who touches the finish line first, is considered the winner. Carlton Frederick Lewis – an American athlete, whom the athletic world recognizes as King Carl, is perhaps the most dominant track and field athlete of the 20th century.[br /]
[br /]
The Lewis era spanned for 17 years, from 1981 to 1997, marked by a number of gold medals and waves of controversy. Very few realize the dream to reach the heights of their idol. Lewis did it, equaling Jesse Owens’ record of four gold medals in a single Olympics. He left international sports with a tally of 17 gold medals and is still considered the No 1 long jumper in the world. Lewis, an outspoken athlete, is a superstar without inhibition and for most fans, he is a love-him or hate-him figure. Although his independent nature sometimes alienated some media persons, he remains a popular and charismatic figure.[br /]
[br /]
He has been one of the driving forces in the professionalization of athletics. At the same time, he has continued fighting against vices, like drug abuse, prevailing in the sports field. For his untiring ‘sprint’ to bring athletics into the 21st century and determination to remove drugs from the game, his name will be inscribed in the history of athletics in golden letters.[br /]
[br /]
In the words of John Smith, the coach of several Olympics and world champions, Carl is truly :[br /]
[br /]
… the prettiest runner who ever ran …He was poetry in motion.

[b]July 1, 1961[/b] Carlton Frederick Lewis born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.[br /]

He was introduced by his father Bill Lewis to the great athlete Jesse Owens, who became his idol.[br /]

[b]1979[/b] Enrolled in the Houston University. Began to be coached by Tom Tellez. Won bronze for the US team in the Pan American Games at Puerto Rico.[br /]

[b]1980[/b] Due to the US boycott of the Moscow Games, he couldn’t participate in the Moscow Olympics.[br /]

Joined Santa Monica Track Club.
Chose Joe Douglas as his manager.
Won the James Sullivan Memorial Award, given annually by the AAU of the US.[br /]

[b]1983[/b] Won the Track and Field World Championship in Helsinki, Finland.[br /]

[b]1984[/b] Won four gold medals at Los Angeles Olympics, equaling American athlete Jesse Owens’ record at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.[br /]

[b]1985[/b] Suffered from knee injury. Took a small break from athletics and concentrated on singing and acting career.[br /]

[b]1986[/b] Returned to the Track and Field events.[br /]


In Seoul Olympics, he ran the fastest 100 meters of his career but came second after Canadian Ben Johnson. Ben disqualified because of drug abuse and Lewis became the ‘Fastest Man on Earth.’[br /]

[b]1989[/b] Returned to his music and acting career.[br /]

[b]1991[/b] Set a splendid world record of 9.86 seconds in the 100 meters at the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.[br /]

In a relay, Lewis with his team members set a world record of 37.40 seconds.
Suffered from thyroid problem.[br /]

[b]1996[/b] Won his ninth Olympic Gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics, equaling Finn Paavo Nurmi’s record.[br /]


Retired from the Track and Field athletics.
[b]World Records[/b][br /]
[b]Total 11 :[/b]Year 1983 :4 x 100 in 37.86 seconds[br /]

Year 1984 :4 x 100 in 37.83 seconds[br /]

Year 1988 :100 in 9.92 seconds[br /]

Year 1989 :4 x 200 in 1:19.38 minute[br /]

Year 1991 :4 x 100 in 37.79 seconds[br /]

4 x 100 in 37.67 seconds[br /]

100 in 9.86 seconds[br /]

4 x 100 in 37.50 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1992 :[/b]

4 x 200 in 1:19.11 minute
[br /]

4 x 100 in 37.40 seconds[br /]
[br /]

[b]Year 1994 :[/b]

4 x 200 in 1: 18.68 minute[br /]
[br /][br /]

[b]American Records[/b][br /]
[br /]
[b]Year 1983[/b] : 200 in 19.75 seconds[br /]

4 x 100 in 37.86 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1984[/b] : 4 x 100 in 37.83 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1987[/b] : 100 in 9.93 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1988[/b] : 100 in 9.93 seconds[br /]

100 in 9.92 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1989[/b] : 4 x 200 in 1:19.38 minute[br /]

[b]Year 1990[/b] : 4 x 100 in 37.93 seconds
(non–national teams)[br /]

[b]Year 1991[/b] : 4 x 100 in 37.79 seconds[br /]

4 x 100 in 37.67 seconds[br /]

100 in 9.86 sec[br /]

4 x 100 in 37. 50 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1992[/b] : 4 x 200 in 1:19. 11 min[br /]

4 x 100 in 37.40 seconds[br /]

[b]Year 1994[/b] : 4 x 100 in 37.79 seconds
(non-national teams)[br /]
4 x 200 in 1:18.68 minute

•People say that I’ll be beaten. But I don’t let people enter my mind ![br /]
[Before 100 meters final in World championship in Tokyo, 1991][br /]
•It’s been a lot of fun… I’ve had an incredible career, and it’s time to stop. To be able to end your career with an Olympic gold medal…is a dream. I feel like I’ve been blessed.[br /]
[After winning his 9th Olympic Gold medal, 1991][br /]
•There are people who have to go against the system in order to change the system for the better… I was one of them.[br /]
•None of you will ever know who I really am. There are certain things that every person has to keep sacred.[br /]
•I want you to have this, because it was your favorite event.[br /]
[While putting his 1984 gold medal in the 100 m into the casket
of his father in 1987][br /]
•I love competition. I am a competitor at heart…[br /]
•All I did was try to change something that was wrong.[br /]
•Get the best coach you can get, and then believe in that coach. Let the pressure out of your hands, letting the coach control the things he or she needs to, and you worry about being prepared and ready to go.[br /]
•Track and field needs to get out of the amateur frame of mind and get serious. It would be great for people if running and fitness was as hot as basketball. It is something almost everyone can do. And races are exciting, they’re part of our nature. It could happen. It’s huge overseas. You just need people with vision in charge.[br /]
•When you interact with people in society, there’s a certain amount of respect you have to earn….. You have to earn respect not only as an athlete, but through your behavior, the way you act, your focus and your consistency.[br /]
•When you take away opportunity, it takes away hope, which tears apart everything else. We know that. So that’s the first thing, creating an environment where everyone has a chance.[br /]
•I think we should have a system where our views can be closer together. Because they really are in a lot of cases, but the party system makes it so our views can’t be closer together, people are locked in. That’s why no matter what happens, I’d stay in issues. I’m very conservative on some issues and very liberal on others. I couldn’t fit into one party alone. And I shouldn’t have to. I should be in a position where I can go back and forth to the issues that are important to me.[br /]
•You have to know who you are and what you are all about. Hope and faith play a role in everything you do in life.[br /]
•…When you allow yourself to be in a position where you feel like you are backed into a corner or you have to perform at a certain level, then you can’t perform at optimal level. Because your mind and your focus will not allow you to accept what happens. You’ve got it preconceived.[br /]
•How can you perform under that pressure from yourself, let alone other people screaming and yelling ? I’ve always tried to have the perspective that you have to go ut and say, I can do this. I have to do the best I can do to perform, and I’ve to let things happen.[br /]
•… you cannot achieve ultimate success along…so look for the best coach… Allow yourself to worry about what you have to handle and other things that you can’t control, allow other experts to handle."[br /]
•In fact, I believe strongly in goals. But goals should be liberating, encouraging and cause imagination and effort. They shouldn’t be have to’s. you have to look out into the future and say What’s out there to achieve ? and then say I can do that.[br /]

[b]TITLES[/b][br /]
• Olympic Athlete of the Century[br /]

• World Athlete of the Year, for three times – in 1982, 1983 and 1984.[br /]

• World Athlete of the Decade; in 1980’s[br /]

• US Athlete of the Year; for seven times – in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1988 and 1991.[br /]

• USA Amateur Athlete of the Year [Sullivan Award Winner, awarded by the AAU], in 1981.[br /]
[br /]
[b]MEDALS[/b][br /]
Olympic Medals[br /]
[br /]
[b]Total 10 – 9 Gold and 1 Silver[/b][br /]
[br /]
[b]Gold[/b] : Year 1984 – 100, 200, 4 X 100 and Long Jump[br /]

Year 1988 – 100 and Long Jump[br /]

Year 1992 – 4 X 100 and Long Jump[br /]

Year 1996 – Long Jump[br /][br /]

[b]Silver[/b] : Year 1988 – 200[br /][br /]

[b]World Championship Medals[/b][br /]
[br /]
[b] Total 10 – 8 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze[/b][br /]
[br /]
[b]Gold :[/b]Year 1983 – 100, 4 X 100 and Long Jump[br /]

Year 1987 – 100, 4 X 100 and Long Jump[br /]

Year 1991 – 100 and 4 X 100[br /]
[b] Silver :[/b]Year 1991 – Long Jump[br /]
[b] Bronze :[/b]

Year 1993 – 200[br /]
[br /][br /]

[b]World Cup Medals[/b][br /]
[b]1 Gold :[/b]

Year 1981 – Long Jump[br /]
[br /]
[b]Pan American Games Medals[/b][br /]
Total 3 – 2 Gold and 1 Bronze[br /]
[b]Gold :[/b]

Year 1987 - 4 X 100 and Long Jump[br /]
[b]Bronze :[/b]

Year 1979 – Long Jump[br /]
[b]AS A TEAM MEMBER[/b][br /]
•US Olympic Team Member; for 5 times in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996[br /]
•US World Championships Team member; for 5 years – 1983, 1987, 1991, 1993 and 1995 (did not compete due to injury)[br /]
[br /]
•[b]US Olympic Trials Championships[/b][br /]
[b]Total 5 wins :[/b]

Year 1984 – 100, 200 and Long Jump[br /]
Year 1988 – 100 and Long Jump
[br /]
•[b]US Outdoor Championships[/b][br /]
[b]Total 13 wins :[/b]

5 for 100 meters[br /]
2 for 200 and [br /]

6 for Long Jump[br /][br /]
•[b]US Indoor Championships[/b][br /]
[b]Total 4 wins :[/b]

1 for 60 yards[br /]
3 for Long Jump

Comments - Carl Lewis