News08 Mar 2012

Hall of Fame Profile - Carl Lewis (USA)


Sprint and long jump legend Carl Lewis (© Getty Images)

One of the best ways of understanding the huge impact that Carl Lewis has had on athletics is to look at the accolades that were bestowed on him after he retired from the sport.

Among them, he was named as the male athlete of the 20th century by the IAAF in 1999 and also Sportsman of the Century by the International Olympic Committee.

Lewis won nine gold medals at four Olympic Games and eight at the IAAF World Championships.

He not only equalled Jess Owens' record of four golds at a single Olympics, winning the 100m, 200m, long jump and being part of the US quartet that won the 4x100m relay at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, but he also won the long jump at four consecutive Games from 1984 to 1996.

Lewis' amazing medal haul on the global stage started at the inaugural IAAF World Championships in 1983 when he won the 100m, long jump and 4x100m.

He defended all three of his world titles in 1987 and the following year retained his Olympic 100m and long jump crowns in Seoul.

At the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, Lewis once again stood on top of the podium after the 100m and 4x100m but he was also part of a famous long jump duel with his team mate Mick Powell, arguably one of the best field event contests ever, in which the latter broke Bob Beamon's seemingly unbeatable world record to end Lewis's winning streak of 65 long jump competitions.

Lewis also set three 100m world records and was part of six world record-setting 4x100m teams.

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