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Carl Lewis

Photo of Carl Lewis

Inducted: 2001, athlete

Born: July 1, 1961 - Birmingham, Alabama

Long Jump - 8.87 m
100 m - 9.86
200 m - 19.75

Carl Lewis' achievements are unprecedented in track and field: He is one of two athletes (the other being Paavo Nurmi) to win nine Olympic gold medals. Similarly, he is one of two (the other being Al Oerter) to win four golds in the same event. He also won 10 medals, including eight golds, at the World Outdoor Championships, the most by any athlete in the world. Growing up in Willingboro, N.J., Lewis came from an athletic family, and yet he blossomed late in his high school career. In his senior year, he improved his personal best in the long jump by almost a foot, from 25' 9" to 26' 8" and ranked number five in the world. The following year, as a freshman at the University of Houston, he qualified for the Olympic team in the long jump. Because of the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics, Lewis had to wait four years for his Olympic glory. By 1984, he had already ranked number one in the world in both the 100 meters and long jump for three consecutive years. In Los Angeles, he matched Jesse Owens' 1936 feat with four gold medals in the same events -- the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay. Lewis' talent was matched by his longevity. At the 1988 Olympics, he won the 100 meters and long jump. In 1992, he again won the long jump as well as the 4x100m, anchoring the U.S. team to a world record of 37.40. In 1996, in his final Olympics, Lewis had a dramatic farewell, winning his fourth-consecutive gold medal in the long jump. At age 30, he had one of his greatest achievements, breaking the world 100m record with a time of 9.86 while winning the event at the 1991 World Championships. At that same meet, he had one of his greatest disappointments, losing his long jump streak of 65 consecutive victories to Mike Powell. It was an occasion on which Lewis recorded his longest jump ever -- 29' 1 1/4" -- while Powell was breaking Bob Beamon's legendary record with a jump of 29' 4 1/2".

Records Held
World Record: 100 m - 9.86 (August 25, 1991 - )

1984 Olympics: Long Jump (1st)
1984 Olympics: 100 m (1st)
1984 Olympics: 200 m (1st)
1984 Olympics: 400 m relay (1st)
1988 Olympics: Long Jump (1st)
1988 Olympics: 100 m (1st)
1988 Olympics: 200 m (2nd)
1992 Olympics: Long Jump (1st)
1992 Olympics: 400 m relay (1st)
1996 Olympics: Long Jump (1st)
1991 World Outdoors: Long Jump - 8.87 m (2nd)
1991 World Outdoors: 100 m - 9.86 (1st)

high school: Willingboro (Willingboro, New Jersey), 1979
undergraduate: Houston (Houston, Texas), 1981


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