Carl Lewis - U.S.A. - Four Olympic gold medals

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 08 August 1984

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      Saturday, 01 July 1961
      Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
  • U.S.A.

Carl LEWIS - U.S.A. - Four Olympic gold medals

The United States boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games denied Carl Lewis the opportunity to compete as a teenager on the world's premier sporting stage, but by 1984 he was the world's outstanding athlete and at the Los Angeles games he did compete and stole the show, winning gold medals in all four events he entered. The first of these came in the 100m. which he won by the largest margin in Olympic history. He clocked 9.99sec .- yards ahead of the field with Sam Grady second in 10.19sec. and Ben Johnson third in 10.22sec. His next final was the long jump in which he was equally dominant, indeed he took just a single jump of 8.54m. (28ft) to secure victory from Australia's Garry Honey (8.24m.) The crowd did not take kindly to his limited appearance but he was more concerned about the impending 200m. final. His single-mindedness paid off as he strode to victory in 19.80sec. with 100m. splits of10.23sec. & 9.57sec. from fellow Americans Kirk Baptiste (19.96) and Thomas Jefferson (20.26) to secure his third gold.(The above photo shows him during the 200m heats) He now needed the help of three other runners to equal Jesse Owen's record haul of four gold medals achieved at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (as a child Lewis was introduced to Owens by his father). The 4x100m. US team did not let him down- they kept hold of the baton- and he stormed home to take the magic fourth gold. He covered his 100m. in 8.94sec.! "For me it was a great achievement just to be mentioned in the same breath as Jesse Owens" Lewis said afterwards. (George Herringshaw)