Carl Lewis wins fourth consecutive long jump at 35

Carl Lewis wins fourth consecutive long jump at 35


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On July 29, 1996, track and field legend Carl Lewis wins his fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the long jump. It was the ninth and final Olympic gold of his storied career.

Frederick Carlton Lewis was born July 11, 1961, in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in a middle-class community in New Jersey. As a teenager, Lewis met Olympic champion Jesse Owens, who became his hero. He participated in track and field, but was undersized until high school, when he grew the long legs that help a sprinter cover ground and underwent a huge growth spurt that forced him to walk with crutches for three months while he fine-tuned his gait. Once fully developed at 6 feet 2 inches tall, Lewis set a national high school record in the long jump with a 26-foot-8-inch leap.

After a standout career at the University of Houston, Lewis won the 100 meters, 200 meters and the long jump at the 1983 National Championships, and entered the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles as the top-ranked sprinter in the world. There, he met his goal of four gold medals, winning the long jump, the 100 meters, the 200 meters and anchoring the victorious U.S. team in the 4 x 100 meter relay.

The win at Atlanta made Lewis the first Olympian since American discus thrower Al Oerter to win the same event four times. His career is considered among the greatest in track and field history.


Carl Lewis wins fourth consecutive long jump at 35 - HISTORY

On this date in 1996, one of the greatest Olympians of all time completed his most impressive feat.

At the Summer Games in Atlanta, Carl Lewis squeaked into the final round of the long jump on his last attempt. Then on his third jump of the final round, Lewis unleashed a jump of 27 feet, 10¾ inches, which moved him into first place.

Lewis passed on two of his last three jumps, and when Mike Powell fouled on his last leap, Lewis had done it.

He won the long jump for the fourth straight Olympics, becoming the second track and field athlete to win four consecutive Olympic golds in the same event, along with discus thrower Al Oerter from 1956 to 1968.

Only two other athletes in any sport have won four straight golds in one Olympic event: Michael Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley from 2004 to 2016, and Denmark&rsquos Paul Elvstrom in the one-person dinghy from 1948 to 1960.

The gold was the 10th medal of Lewis&rsquo Olympic career, putting him behind only Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi (12) among track and field athletes.

Lewis increased his career total to nine golds, tying the Olympic record for gold medals, since surpassed by Phelps with 23.

Lewis made his Olympic name a dozen years earlier in Los Angeles, winning gold medals in the 100 meters, 200, 4x100 relay and long jump. He set an Olympic record in the 200 and was part of the world-record setting relay team.

At those Games, Lewis became the sixth Olympian with four track and field golds at one Olympics, the first to do so since 1948. No one else has done it since then.

Lewis had a chance to repeat that feat at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, but he took silver in the 200, and the U.S. relay team was disqualified in the first round.

He did repeat as 100 champion after Ben Johnson was disqualified for a positive steroid test, making Lewis the first man to win two Olympic golds in the event, a feat Usain Bolt topped by winning his third straight in Rio last year.

In 1992, Lewis won his third long jump gold, and he anchored the relay team to a world record, making him the only athlete to win the long jump and the 4x100 relay in the same Olympics twice.

He wasn&rsquot expected to win another gold in 1996, but his dramatic victory is one of the lasting memories from the Atlanta Games and one of the greatest accomplishments in Olympic history.


HE'S STILL THE KING

Nothing was going to stop Carl Lewis. Not an Eastern bloc boycott or a home-grown bomb plot. Nothing was going to keep him from becoming the greatest U.S. Olympic track and field athlete of all time.

Maybe he was there already, but Lewis removed any doubt when he won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the long jump Monday night and forged a personal link between the two American summer Olympiads to take place during his lifetime.

It all began in Los Angeles in 1984 and ended with a victory so unlikely that even the 35-year-old Lewis could hardly believe it.

"I'm just trying to figure out how all of you got into my dream," Lewis said afterward. "I don't remember getting up this morning."

He got up all right, and sailed 27 feet, 10 3/4 inches on his third attempt of last night's long jump final to win his ninth career Olympic gold medal.

Orlando's James Beckford, competing for Jamaica, won the silver at 27-2 1/2 , and fellow American Joe Greene took the bronze with a leap of 27-0 1/2 in one of the most eagerly awaited events of the track and field competition at Olympic Stadium.

"I don't see how I can top this," said Lewis, who celebrated his victory by filling a plastic bag with sand from the long jump pit and waving it to the crowd.

Lewis celebrated with the traditional flag-waving victory lap. He stopped about halfway around the track to hug civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and then sprinted the rest of the way into Olympic history. The ninth gold medal equaled Finnish distance legend Paavo Nurmi for the most by a single track athlete.

"The ninth one is the most special," Lewis said after his longest jump in two years. "It took the most focus. It took the most pain. And it could not have happened without a lot of support."

If it was a historic evening for Lewis, it was a horribly disappointing night for world-record holder Mike Powell, who finished second to Lewis in the 1988 and 1992 Olympiads.

He fouled on three of his first five jumps and came up limping with an apparent groin muscle strain after the red flag went up on his second-to-last attempt. He tried to make his final attempt, but crumpled into the pit and remained face down for more than a minute, the mixture of pain and disappointment written on his sand-caked face when he finally got back to his feet.

Lewis earned the right to jump last in the final three rounds by virtue of his place at the top of the rankings when the field was reduced to eight. He chose to conserve his energy and pass on his fourth attempt when no one overtook him. He did make his fifth attempt, but did not approach his earlier distance.

Then it was just the waiting. Greene had fouled on his fourth and fifth jumps and - with Powell hurt - figured to be the stiffest competition left in the final round, but he would foul again on his final jump and unintentionally send the crowd into hysterics.

"You don't want the Olympic moments to end," Lewis said, "but I wanted that competition to be over, after the third round. I was thinking, let's get this thing over with."

When it finally ended, not even his competitors could complain. Greene even conceded that he was rooting for Lewis to jump well, even though he was trying to jump farther.

The only real suspense in the final round was provided by Boone High School graduate Beckford, whose last attempt came within eight inches of Lewis and elevated the Jamaican from fourth place to second.

"It was an honor just to jump against him," Beckford said, "to jump against him for the last time - the last time for him."


Contents

This was the 21st appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. The returning finalists from the 1984 Games were gold medalist Carl Lewis of the United States, bronze medalist Giovanni Evangelisti of Italy, fourth-place finisher Larry Myricks of the United States, seventh-place finisher Junichi Usui of Japan, eighth-place finisher Kim Jong-il of South Korea, and tenth-place finisher Antonio Corgos of Spain. The 1984 silver medalist, Gary Honey of Australia, was entered but did not start. Lewis and Myricks were the favorites their new teammate, Mike Powell, was also a challenger. [2]

Algeria, Bangladesh, Qatar, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland each made their first appearance in the event. The United States appeared for the 20th time, most of any nation, having missed only the boycotted 1980 Games.

The 1988 competition used the two-round format with divided final introduced in 1952. The qualifying round gave each competitor three jumps to achieve a distance of 8.00 metres if fewer than 12 men did so, the top 12 (including all those tied) would advance. The final provided each jumper with three jumps the top eight jumpers received an additional three jumps for a total of six, with the best to count (qualifying round jumps were not considered for the final). [2] [3]

The standing world and Olympic records prior to the event were as follows.


Contents

Carl Lewis was on the edge of making history, to equal the unique accomplishment of Al Oerter by winning four Olympic championships in the same event. However, now 35 years old, he was comparatively quite old for a sprinter-long jumper. Lewis barely made it to the Olympics, only finishing third at the 1996 Olympic Trials behind world record holder Mike Powell (at 33, also five years beyond his peak) and 29-year-old Joe Greene. These same three American jumpers had swept the event four years earlier.

While Lewis was ranked number one from the qualifying round, it took him three jumps to make the automatic qualifier. Lewis gained some notoriety by winning the 1984 Olympics on his single, first attempt. Powell, Greene and Iván Pedroso made their automatic qualifier (8.05 m) on their first attempt.

In the first round Emmanuel Bangué took the lead with 8.19 m. Powell moved into second place in the second round at 8.17 m, with Lewis jumping 8.10 m to move into third. Greene moved into the lead in the third round with an 8.24 m, until Lewis made his 8.50 jump. Lewis' jump equalled former rival Larry Myricks' still standing Masters M35 World Record.

While Pedroso was the reigning world champion and had jumped significantly better just a year earlier, he didn't get into the final eight to get three remaining jumps. No other jumper improved in his final jumps except James Beckford, whose final-round 8.29 m lifted him into the silver medal, pushing Greene to bronze.

This was the 23rd appearance of the event, which is one of 12 athletics events to have been held at every Summer Olympics. The top six finishers from the 1992 Games returned: the American medal-sweeping team of Carl Lewis, Mike Powell, and Joe Greene, fourth-place finisher Iván Pedroso and fifth-place finisher Jaime Jefferson of Cuba, and sixth-place finisher Konstantinos Koukodimos of Greece other returning finalists were eighth-place finisher Geng Huang of China and twelfth-place finisher Bogdan Tudor of Romania. Pedroso had surpassed Powell as the world's best jumper in 1995, winning the world championship. Both men, however, struggled with hamstring injuries coming into the Games. Lewis, the three-time Olympic champion, barely qualified for the American team behind Powell and Greene. [2]

Armenia, Belarus, the British Virgin Islands, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Gambia, the Netherlands Antilles, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine each made their first appearance in the event. The United States appeared for the 22nd time, most of any nation, having missed only the boycotted 1980 Games.

The 1996 competition used the two-round format with divided final introduced in 1952. The qualifying round gave each competitor three jumps to achieve a distance of 8.05 metres if fewer than 12 men did so, the top 12 (including all those tied) would advance. The final provided each jumper with three jumps the top eight jumpers received an additional three jumps for a total of six, with the best to count (qualifying round jumps were not considered for the final). [2] [3]

The standing world and Olympic records prior to the event were as follows.


Carl Lewis soars into Olympic history

On this date in 1996, one of the greatest Olympians of all time completed his most impressive feat.

At the Summer Games in Atlanta, Carl Lewis squeaked into the final round of the long jump on his last attempt. Then on his third jump of the final round, Lewis unleashed a jump of 27 feet, 10¾ inches, which moved him into first place.

Lewis passed on two of his last three jumps, and when Mike Powell fouled on his last leap, Lewis had done it.

He won the long jump for the fourth straight Olympics, becoming the second track and field athlete to win four consecutive Olympic golds in the same event, along with discus thrower Al Oerter from 1956 to 1968.

Only two other athletes in any sport have won four straight golds in one Olympic event: Michael Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley from 2004 to 2016, and Denmark&rsquos Paul Elvstrom in the one-person dinghy from 1948 to 1960.

The gold was the 10th medal of Lewis&rsquo Olympic career, putting him behind only Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi (12) among track and field athletes.

Lewis increased his career total to nine golds, tying the Olympic record for gold medals, since surpassed by Phelps with 23.

Lewis made his Olympic name a dozen years earlier in Los Angeles, winning gold medals in the 100 meters, 200, 4x100 relay and long jump. He set an Olympic record in the 200 and was part of the world-record setting relay team.

At those Games, Lewis became the sixth Olympian with four track and field golds at one Olympics, the first to do so since 1948. No one else has done it since then.

Lewis had a chance to repeat that feat at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, but he took silver in the 200, and the U.S. relay team was disqualified in the first round.

He did repeat as 100 champion after Ben Johnson was disqualified for a positive steroid test, making Lewis the first man to win two Olympic golds in the event, a feat Usain Bolt topped by winning his third straight in Rio last year.

In 1992, Lewis won his third long jump gold, and he anchored the relay team to a world record, making him the only athlete to win the long jump and the 4x100 relay in the same Olympics twice.

He wasn&rsquot expected to win another gold in 1996, but his dramatic victory is one of the lasting memories from the Atlanta Games and one of the greatest accomplishments in Olympic history.


Carl Lewis Shattered World Records While Consuming a Vegan Diet

Carl Lewis was voted “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, and “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated.

After competing in two Olympic Games, Lewis had won six gold medals across four events (100-Meter Dash, 200-Meter Dash, Long Jump and 4𴠼 Relay). He’d set two new Olympic records in the process. He had already built a legacy as one of the greatest track and field athletes in history. He could relax and enjoy his celebrity. Carl Lewis had nothing left to prove. Yet Lewis wasn’t ready to walk away. Gold wasn’t enough—he wanted to prove to himself he wasn’t just the best sprinter and jumper in the world, but the best sprinter and jumper in world history.

“In those days, (athletes competed in) one or two Olympics, (they) retired and (were) done. But I was never chasing medals. I was always chasing performance,” Lewis told STACK at the 2017 USATF Black Tie and Sneaker Gala. “I won four gold medals (at my first Olympics), I got gold in every event. But still, I didn’t have the world record in the 100 meter, the 200 meter or the Long Jump. And I hadn’t jumped 29 feet. My thing has always been about performance, not the reward.”

But Lewis’s age was doing him few favors in regard to his world record pursuits. After all, Bob Beamon—the man who set the mythical 29 feet, 2½ inch world record in the Long Jump—did so at 22 years old. Lewis was rapidly approaching 30 and he knew time was not on his side. “You turn 30 as an athlete and you say ‘oh my goodness, where are we going from here?’ Especially in our sport. I was in uncharted territory people just didn’t have success at that age because they weren’t staying around (back then). So I was looking for all different kinds of ways to stay in the sport,” Lewis says. “(Changing my diet) was all a part of my evaluation of turning 30.”

Carl continued, “Dr. McDougall challenged me to make a commitment to eating a vegetarian diet and then to ‘just do it.’ Thousands of other world-class athletes have learned to follow a near-vegetarian diet simply because they have no other choice if they want to join the winners’ circle. By the nature of the foods, a winning athlete must eat mostly plants to obtain high-octane fuel (carbohydrate).”

Dr. McDougall writes: “Carl Lewis, the world’s fastest man, is my biggest claim to fame for an athlete who follows the McDougall Diet. He set the world record for the 100 meter dash, won two gold medals, and had the best long-jump series of his career (29 feet three times – these are considered the best series of jumps of all time) while following the McDougall diet.

“I met Carl Lewis in 1990 in Minneapolis one morning while we were both appearing on a TV talk show. He told me he was frustrated because all previous eating plans had either caused him to become overweight or left him too weak to compete and win (these were mostly low-calorie, portion-control diets). Shortly afterward he began eating our recommended low-fat, pure-vegetarian diet and his dilemma was resolved. Yes, he discovered there IS a diet that would allow him to look, feel, function, and perform at his best without ever being hungry – shouldn’t that be the way for all of us? In the introduction to his new cookbook, he says, ‘In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.’ “

1991 World Championships: Lewis’ greatest performances

Once Lewis was able to optimize his diet, he noticed a big uptick in his energy and vigor. The effects of his new diet were on full display at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo. The event, which took place shortly after Lewis’s 30th birthday, is regarded as one of the most dominant displays in track and field history.

One of the greatest duels in the history of sport featured Lewis facing off against Mike Powell, who had been the top-ranked long jumper of 1990. But Lewis had also won 65 consecutive Long Jump meets entering the competition. The two traded jumps in the territory of 28 feet before Lewis unleashed a massive 29 feet, 2¾ inch jump. It was the longest jump recorded under any condition in human history. Amazingly, Powell out-jumped this mark by an inch-and-a-half on his next attempt and set a world record. Lewis would go on to jump over 29 feet in the competition two more times, but Powell took the gold medal. Powell’s world record still stands to this day. Regardless, Lewis had achieved something that had been a dream of his since childhood. He had jumped 29 feet, and he had out-jumped Bob Beamon. “This has been the greatest meet that I’ve ever had,” Lewis told Track and Field News shortly after the event.

In the 100 meter final, Lewis faced the two men who ranked number one in the world the previous two years: Burrell and Jamaican Raymond Stewart. In what would be the deepest 100 meters race ever to that time, with six men finishing in under ten seconds, Lewis not only defeated his opponents, he reclaimed the world record with a clocking of 9.86 seconds. Though previously a world-record holder in this event, this was the first time he had crossed the line with “WR” beside his name on the giant television screens, and the first time he could savor his achievement at the moment it occurred. His world record would subsequently stand for nearly three years. He could be seen with tears in his eyes afterwards. “The best race of my life,” Lewis said. “The best technique, the fastest and I did it at thirty.”

Lewis’s longevity soon became legendary. At the 1996 Olympics, he won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the Long Jump at 35 years old. His nine Olympic gold medals are the most by a track and field athlete in modern history. “I actually had all my personal bests in the 100 and the Long Jump after I turned 30, after this diet change,” Lewis said. “I felt lighter, faster a


Long Jump, Men

The 1991 World Championships had featured the greatest long jump dual in track & field history, featuring the 1988 Olympic gold and silver medalists, Carl Lewis and Mike Powell. Lewis opened with 8.68 (28-5¾) to take the lead, with Powell responding with 8.54 (28-0¼) in round two. In round three Lewis produced the second longest jump ever, 8.83 (28-11¾), but a +2.3 wind prevented it from counting for record purposes, although it counted for the competition. In round four, he bettered that as well. The mark of 8.91 (29-2¾) went up on the board, meaning the vaunted Bob Beamon world record had finally been bettered, but this too was wind-aided, a following +2.9 wind. In round five, the wind was legal, and Lewis popped 8.87 (29-1¼), the second-longest legal jump ever. Powell was mired in second place, watching Lewis produce the greatest series in long jump history. But then, Powell produced his best. The 8.95 (29-4½) mark on the stadium board meant that Beamon’s world record was finally broken, if the wind was legal, and it was - +0.3 m/s. In the last round, Lewis fought back, jumping another superb mark of 8.84 (29-0), also with a legal wind. But he had lost and he had lost in his effort to be the man to break Beamon’s record. At the 1992 Olympic Trials, Powell again beat Lewis (8.62-8.53), and was a slight favorite in Barcelona.

In round one of the final, Lewis opened with 8.67 (28-5½). Powell struggled early, but got out to 8.22 (26-11¾) in round two and 8.33 (27-4) in round three. Round five saw both produce big jumps, Lewis with 8.50 (27-10¾) and Powell with 8.53 (28-0). Lewis again jumped 8.50 (27-10¾) in the final round. Powell was up three jumpers later and produced his best mark, 8.64 (28-4¼), but it was not enough for the gold medal. Joe Greene completed the US sweep. Lewis had won his third consecutive gold medal in the event. Not counting the 1906 Olympics, this made Lewis only the fourth track & field to win three consecutive gold medals in the same individual event – John Flanagan in hammer throw, Viktor Saneyev in triple jump, and Al Oerter, who won four consecutive, in the discus throw.

PosNrAthleteNOCQualifyingFinal
11729Carl Lewis USA8.68 (1)8.67 (1) Gold
21752Mike Powell USA8.14 (4)8.64 (2) Silver
31702Joe Greene USA7.90 (12)8.34 (3) Bronze
4361Iván Pedroso CUB8.07 (7)8.11 (4)
5349Jaime Jeffersón CUB8.09 (5)8.08 (5)
6880Kostas Koukodimos GRE8.22 (3)8.04 (6)
7481Dmitry Bagryanov EUN8.09 (6)7.98 (7)
8277Huang Geng CHN8.22 (2)7.87 (8)
91520Borut Bilač SLO8.00 (10)7.76 (9)
10273Chen Zunrong CHN7.93 (11)7.75 (10)
1140Dave Culbert AUS8.00 (9)7.73 (11)
121469Bogdan Tudor ROU8.07w (8)7.61 (12)
13 r1/287Craig Hepburn BAH7.89 (13)
14 r1/2806Dietmar Haaf GER7.85 (14)
15 r1/2901Mark Mason GUY7.83 (15)
16 r1/2886Spyros Vasdekis GRE7.82 (16)
17 r1/21086Masaki Morinaga JPN7.79 (17)
18 r1/2440Jesús Oliván ESP7.78 (18)
19 r1/2177Galin Georgiev BUL7.75 (19)
20 r1/2225Ian James CAN7.74 (20)
21 r1/2642Franck Lestage FRA7.72 (21)
22 r1/2709Mark Forsythe GBR7.71 (22)
23 r1/21433Elmer Williams PUR7.70 (23)
24 r1/2195Franck Zio BUR7.70 (24)
25 r1/21596Milan Gombala TCH7.69 (25)
26 r1/2912Csaba Almási HUN7.69 (26)
27 r1/21512Tom Ganda SLE7.67 (27)
28 r1/2217Edrick Floréal CAN7.62 (28)
29 r1/21366Roman Golanowski POL7.61 (29)
30 r1/2889Eugene Licorish GRN7.60 (30)
31 r1/2637Serge Hélan FRA7.60 (31)
32 r1/2823Konstantin Krause GER7.54 (32)
33 r1/21137James Sabulei KEN7.50 (33)
34 r1/2930László Szalma HUN7.47 (34)
35 r1/21427Michael Francis PUR7.46 (35)
36 r1/21127Benjamin Koech KEN7.44 (36)
37 r1/21506Danny Beauchamp SEY7.44 (37)
38 r1/2253Kareem Streete-Thompson CAY7.39 (38)
39 r1/2391Angelo Iannuzzelli ESA7.31 (39)
40 r1/21437Abdullah Mohamed Al-Sheib QAT7.27 (40)
41 r1/2583Gabriele Qoro FIJ7.22 (41)
42 r1/21541Khaled Ahmed Musa SUD7.03 (42)
43 r1/21823Ndabezinhle Mdhlongwa ZIM6.96 (43)
44 r1/2122Elston Shaw BIZ6.57 (44)
45 r1/2511Vadim Ivanov EUN5.97 (45)
46 r1/29Abdel Kader Klouchi ALG5.33 (46)
AC r1/2427Ángel Hernández ESP– (AC)
AC r1/2892Soriba Diakité GUI– (AC)
AC r1/21003Giovanni Evangelisti ITA– (AC)
AC r1/21582Sizwe Sydney Mdluli SWZ– (AC)
DNS1499Badara Mbengue SEN– (DNS)
DNS1653Musabeh Al-Hadhrami UAE– (DNS)
DNS18Afonso Ferraz ANG– (DNS)

PAGE ONE -- Carl Lewis Leaps Into History / He's contrite, polite after winning 4th long-jump gold

1996-07-30 04:00:00 PDT Atlanta -- CARL LEWIS turned in one of the great performances of track history last night.

He also leaped real far into a sand pit and won the gold medal in the long jump, but more about that in a minute.

The most remarkable performance came an hour after Lewis, 35 and a supposed has-been, got off a magnificent 27 foot, 10 3/4 inch jump to win his record-setting fourth straight gold long-jump medal and record-tying ninth gold overall.

Lewis, the greatest track and field athlete of all time, came to the interview room and spoke eloquently and movingly of the support he has received from millions of people, and about his feelings toward his fans and his sport.

He even deflected some truly bizarre barbs hurled his way by archrival Michael Johnson, who won the 400-meter last night and then attacked Lewis, through the media, like some Shakespearean king gone bonkers.

All that action came after Lewis beat Jamaica's James Beckford by more than eight inches, with American Joe Greene taking the bronze, as he did in '92.

If you haven't paid much attention to Lewis over the past few

years, or since he really burst on the scene with a stunning four- gold-medal Olympics in '84, you might wonder who this fellow was who won the gold last night.

The young Lewis was flip, shallow, self-absorbed and out of touch with anyone's feelings but his own. He was kind of weird.

"I'm going to be bigger than Michael Jackson," Lewis boasted before the '84 Olympics, to which someone commented, "So what? Jackson's only 5-10."

But this new old Carl doesn't want to be bigger than anyone. He's just glad to be here among the giants.

"I'm just trying to figure out how the hell all of you got in my dream," he said as he sat down to face the media.

"This medal, the ninth one, is the most special," he said, "because it took the most focus and the most pain. It was millions of people, cheering for me at the trials, sending me mail, cheering for me here. I've always felt I've been honored to touch people's lives, and this win was for every single person who has supported me. They've given me a charge.

"Back home (in Houston), I got notes at my house, people rang the doorbell, people put up Olympic flags on their houses because they knew I ran through the neighborhood. There were 85,000 people helping me here tonight, but there were 260 million Americans who helped me."

Even though Lewis has all those medals, he hasn't been the old unbeatable sprinter in at least five years. At the U.S. Olympic trials, he finished last in the 100 meters, hobbled by a leg cramp.

His confidence seemed all but shot, and so did his legs. He was like an old actor coming back on the stage just to make a final curtain call.

In the long-jump qualifying last night, Lewis didn't make the cut until his very last jump, when he soared 27 feet, 2 1/2 inches, his longest jump in two years.

The young Carl Lewis operated on a different physical level than all the other athletes. Clearly, the old Carl has been calling on something a little more emotional or spiritual this week.

In losing much of his physical superiority over the rest of the world's sprinters and jumpers, Lewis apparently found other attributes. Character. Humility. The ability to connect with the fans, to whom he used to come off as sort of a nerd.

Maybe it was that newfound stuff that helped Lewis close out his Olympic career last night with a grand slam.

Bronze medalist Greene was convinced.

"Carl has pretty much set the standard for what it is to be a great athlete," he said.

As Lewis said, "The ball was put in my hands nine times, and I was able to take care of business."

A RIVAL'S ANGER

Michael Johnson was less than impressed. Johnson has launched a campaign to force Lewis to pass along the mantle of the sport's No. 1 star.

"What I said," Johnson said last night after his gold-medal run, "as far as Carl trying to continue to be the premier athlete in track and field, I think he should step down from that. I'm not even competing for that. My objective is not to replace Carl Lewis."

Johnson went on to say that he resented Lewis trying to qualify for the Olympics in the 100 meters and the 400-meter relay -- that he should have limited his efforts to the long jump. Somehow, Johnson has become the arbiter of who should try to do what.

Are you confused? So is Lewis. Maybe it was last night's full moon.

There's a personal feud involved. Johnson feels Lewis has put financial gain over support for American track. But Johnson's latest attacks seem to lack rationality.

Pass the torch? How? Does Johnson want Lewis to sign over a pink slip? Fed-Ex his jock strap to the Hall of Fame?

"I don't know what someone has to do to pass a torch," Lewis said. "There is no manual for doing that. Track and field has 30-some events, and I'm not out here to compete for anything (other than his events).

"What Michael needs to realize is that there is no such thing as passing a torch. We should celebrate whoever performs. We should celebrate the multitudes instead of jockeying for one spot, saying 'Look at me, look at me.' "


How Carl Lewis Shattered World Records on a Vegan Diet

When the dust settled on the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Carl Lewis had nothing left to prove.

After competing in two Olympic Games, Lewis had won six gold medals across four events (100-Meter Dash, 200-Meter Dash, Long Jump and 4𴠼 Relay). He’d set two new Olympic records in the process. He had already built a legacy as one of the greatest track and field athletes in history. He could relax and enjoy his celebrity. Yet Lewis wasn’t ready to walk away. Gold wasn’t enough—he wanted to prove to himself he wasn’t just the best sprinter and jumper in the world, but the best sprinter and jumper in world history.

“In those days, people went to one or two Olympics, you retired and you’re done. But I was never chasing medals. I was always chasing performance,” Lewis told STACK at the 2017 USATF Black Tie and Sneaker Gala. “I won four gold medals (at my first Olympics), I got gold in every event. But still, I didn’t have the world record in the 100, the 200 or the Long Jump. And I hadn’t jumped 29 feet. My thing has always been about performance, not the reward.”

But Lewis’s age was doing him few favors in regards to his world record pursuits. After all, Bob Beamon—the man who set the mythical 29 feet, 2½ inch world record in the Long Jump—did so at 22 years old. Lewis was rapidly approaching 30 and he knew time was not on his side. “You turn 30 as an athlete and you say ‘oh my goodness, where are we going from here?’ Especially in our sport. I was in uncharted territory, people just didn’t have success at that age because they weren’t staying around (back then). So I was looking for all different kinds of ways to stay in the sport,” Lewis says. “(Changing my diet) was all a part of my evaluation of turning 30.”

Perhaps the most incredible aspect of Lewis’s early career success is that he achieved it while barely eating. Early on, Lewis had figured out that being lighter helped him run faster and jump higher. However, in these days before sports nutritionists were the norm for any high-level competitive athlete, Lewis ended up taking that idea to the extreme.

“I knew all along that your weight was extremely important to success. So I wanted to make sure I kept my weight down. I got to a point where that was more important (to me) than eating. My diet actually became unhealthy because I wasn’t eating enough. I was technically dieting the wrong way,” Lewis says. “There was a point where I would never eat breakfast, eat lunch maybe two days a week, then just eat dinner every day. That was it. To keep my weight down. Then I realized over time that was not healthy. It happened because people were around me and saying, you never eat. I had just gotten so used to it. Then I started to seek out information.”

Lewis needed a diet that could provide him with plenty of sustenance without bogging him down. During a TV appearance in 1990, he met Dr. John McDougall, one of the earliest public advocates of the benefits of a plant-based diet. His beliefs instantly intrigued Lewis. Shortly thereafter, Lewis met the late Jay Kordich on a radio show. Kordich was known as “The Father of Juicing,” and he explained to Lewis how juicing might benefit an athlete like him.

“I got more information about the vegan diet, about juicing, about all these kind of things,” Lewis said. He eventually settled on a plant-based diet with no animal products—aka, a vegan diet. “I selected a day I was going to (start) it,” Lewis said. “At first, there were challenges.”

For six months, Lewis struggled to make the diet work for him. He immediately lost a significant amount of weight and he often felt lethargic. Lewis initially believed the problem was that he wasn’t getting enough protein with the new diet, but the actual issue was much more simple—he wasn’t consuming enough calories. Due to the high-fiber, low-calorie nature of many vegan-friendly foods, new vegans often struggle to consume enough calories. For Lewis—a man who was used to eating so little food before he switched to veganism—the struggle was even greater.

“We discussed it and the problem wasn’t protein—I was eating plenty of protein. I wasn’t eating enough calories. That’s what I realized. You have to really eat in order to get the calories. And remember, I was someone who wasn’t eating very much. Breakfast was like taboo. So the biggest adjustment I had to make was to actually start eating,” Lewis said. Lewis, who first began employing a private chef in 1985, found that having someone else cook for him made the transition to veganism much more feasible.

“A lot of people say ‘Oh, it’s good to do a vegan diet.’ Well it’s not that easy, especially as an athlete, unless you have someone that’s prioritizing your meals,” Lewis says. “Obviously, you have to eat more. You have to watch what you eat. You have to find things and figure out ways to make it work. It took a while for my body to adjust and figure it out and for my cook to (bulk) up my meals, slide in the snacks (throughout the day). It really took six months for me to figure it out.”

Once Lewis was able to optimize his diet, he noticed a big uptick in his energy and vigor. The effects of his new diet were on full display at the 1991 World Championships. The event, which took place shortly after Lewis’s 30th birthday, is regarded as one of the most dominant displays in track and field history.

It began with his performance in the finals of the 100-Meter Dash. Facing a stacked field, Lewis went on to win the gold and set a world record with a time of 9.86 seconds. His world record would subsequently stand for nearly three years. “(It was) the best race of my life,” Lewis told ESPN. “The best technique, the fastest. And I did it at 30.”

Next came one of the greatest duels in the history of sport. It featured Lewis facing off against Mike Powell, who had been the top-ranked long jumper of 1990. But Lewis had also won 65 consecutive Long Jump meets entering the competition. The two traded jumps in the territory of 28 feet before Lewis unleashed a massive 29 feet, 2¾ inch jump. It was the longest jump recorded under any condition in human history. Amazingly, Powell out-jumped this mark by an inch-and-a-half on his next attempt and set a world record. Lewis would go on to jump over 29 feet in the competition two more times, but Powell took the gold medal. Powell’s world record still stands to this day. Regardless, Lewis had achieved something that had been a dream of his since childhood. He had jumped 29 feet, and he had out-jumped Bob Beamon. “This has been the greatest meet that I’ve ever had,” Lewis told Track and Field News shortly after the event.

Lewis’s longevity soon became legendary. At the 1996 Olympics, he won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the Long Jump at 35 years old. His nine Olympic gold medals are the most by a track and field athlete in modern history. “I actually had all my personal bests in the 100 and the Long Jump after I turned 30, after this diet change,” Lewis said. “I felt lighter, faster and fitter.”


Carl Lewis wins fourth consecutive long jump at 35 - HISTORY

The roots of track and field, or athletics, may be traced back to the first ancient Olympic Games, held in 776 B.C. in the valley of Olympia on the southwestern coast of the Greek peninsula. The only event at those Games – the “stadion” – was a sprinting race of approximately 200 meters, or the length of the ancient Olympic stadium. Coroebus won the stadion in 776 B.C., and thus is history’s first Olympic champion. The ancient Olympic Games, held every four years, eventually grew to contain other athletics events such as the discus, javelin and the broad jump.

The marathon has its origins in the legend of the Greek soldier Pheidippides. Legend has it that in 490 B.C., following the Greeks’ victory over the Persian invaders in the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides ran 25 miles from Marathon to Athens with news of the victory. Upon his arrival in Athens, Pheidippides called out, “Be joyful, we win!” and then collapsed and died of exhaustion. In commemoration of the messenger’s feat, a marathon race of 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) was held on the route from Marathon to Athens at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The official marathon distance was set at 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards) for the 1908 London Games. There are conflicting historical accounts as to why: some say it was so that the race would begin at Windsor Castle and finish directly in front of the royal box at Olympic Stadium, while other historians say the starting point was selected to ease crowd control.

After the end of the ancient Olympic Games (in about 393 A.D.), athletics competitions were rarely contested. The sport was revived sporadically in England between the 12th century and the 19th century. Cambridge and Oxford University contested the first university track meet in 1864, and in 1873 the first collegiate races in the U.S. were held. The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), the international governing body of the sport, was founded in 1912, and in 2001 the name of the organization was changed to the International Association of Athletics Federations. In 2019, the name was changed again, and the organization is now known as World Athletics.

Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana kicked things off on the first day of competition by breaking a nearly 23-year-old world record in the women's 10,000m by more than 14 seconds. American Michelle Carter won the United States its first ever Olympic title in the women's shot put, and her compatriot Dalilah Muhammad later did the same in the women's 400m hurdles. American Matthew Centrowitz's surprise 1500m win was USA's first in the event since 1908. Mo Farah of Great Britain defended both his 10,000m and 5000m crowns, a consecutive double only achieved by one other man in history, the great Lasse Viren. South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk from lane eight took down Michael Johnson's elusive 400m world record. Bahamian Shaunae Miller dove at the line to beat American superstar Allyson Felix in the women's 400m, though Felix would still earn her fifth and sixth career Olympic golds in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays to become track and field's most successful female Olympian in history. Kenya's David Rudisha, Croatia's Sandra Perkovic, USA's Christian Taylor and Ashton Eaton all defended their golds, respectively, in the men's 800m, women's discus, men's triple jump and decathlon. During the heats of the women's 5000m, a moment of sportsmanship swept the globe when after a devastating fall American Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helped each other finish. Team USA swept the women's 100m hurdles, an Olympic first for the event. Jamaica's Elaine Thompson and Usain Bolt doubled in the 100m and 200m – for Bolt, the third consecutive Olympics he'd accomplished the feat. Bolt and Jamaica's win in the 4x100m relay, also a third consecutive victory, tied him with legends Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi for the most career Olympic track and field golds with nine.

Usain Bolt completed the "double-triple," successfully defending his Olympic gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. Allyson Felix also won three Olympic gold medals, including her first individual gold in the 200m after earning silver medals in 2004 and 2008. Great Britain's Mo Farah swept the 5000m and 10,000m races in front of his home fans. Kenya's David Rudisha lived up to his nickname, "King David," by breaking the 800m world record.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica broke three world records at the Games in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, despite slowing down to celebrate in the 100m and running into a headwind in the 200m. Dawn Harper won gold in the 100m hurdles after her U.S. teammate, Lolo Jones, clipped the ninth hurdle and stumbled. Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva broke the world record in the pole vault to secure her second consecutive gold medal. Kenya's Sammy Wanjiru obliterated the Olympic record to claim the first gold medal for his country in the marathon.

The U.S. men had their medal brooms out, racing to sweeps in both the 200m and 400m events. Justin Gatlin also claimed the gold medal for the U.S. in the 100m. In the women's sprints, young athletes that made their Olympic mark, as an 18-year-old Allyson Felix took silver in the 200m and 20-year-old Lauryn Williams earned silver in the 100m. Overall, the U.S. laid claim to 25 medals, the most since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj completed a rare distance double in the 1500m and 5000m.

Cathy Freeman was given the honor of lighting the Olympic Cauldron in the Opening Ceremony, and ten day later, she delivered a stirring victory in the 400m. It was Australia's first track and field gold medal since 1988. In her Olympic debut, Marion Jones of the United States claimed five medals, but she has since been stripped of her medals. U.S. sprinters won gold medals in the 100m with Maurice Greene and 400m with Michael Johnson.

Michael Johnson set a world record in the 200m on his way to becoming the first man to own Olympic gold medals in the 200m and 400m. Veteran American athletes shined in Atlanta, as Carl Lewis won his fourth long jump title at the age of 35, and 34-year-old Jackie Joyner-Kersee claimed the bronze in the long jump to bring her Olympic medal tally to seven. U.S. decathlete Dan O'Brien, who failed to even qualify for Barcelona, managed to claim the gold in Atlanta. Russia's Svetlana Masterkova surprised the favorites by sweeping the 800m and 1500m.

For American sprinter Gail Devers, the Barcelona Games were marked by fulfillment and disappointment. She won a gold medal in the closest 100m finish in Olympic history, but five days later, she hit the final hurdle and tumbled across the finish line of the 100m hurdles in fifth. In the women's 10,000m, Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia became the first black African woman to win an Olympic medal. She celebrated by taking a victory lap, hand in hand, with Elana Meyer, a white South African.

The winner of the men's 100m, Ben Johnson of Canada, was disqualified after testing positive for anabolic steroids. The gold medal was then awarded to Carl Lewis, who also claimed gold in the long jump. American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner left Seoul with four Olympic medals, including gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

As the Games returned to American soil for the first time since 1932, Carl Lewis of the United States matched Jesse Owens' performance at the 1936 Berlin Games by winning gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump. Two-time Boston Marathon winner Joan Benoit won the inaugural Olympic women's marathon. Prior to 1984, women never had competed in an Olympic race longer that 1500m.

Perhaps the most anticipated showdown of the Moscow Games was between middle-distance runners Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe of Great Britain. Going into the 800m, world-record holder Coe was the favorite, but Ovett edged him by 45-hundredths of a second to take gold. Six days later, Coe overcome the disappointment of that defeat by winning in the 1500m, upsetting the favored Ovett, who came away with bronze. The United States was one of the countries that boycotted the 1980 Games.

In the Montreal decathlon, Bruce Jenner continued America's string of success in the event, joining luminaries Jim Thorpe, Bob Mathias and Rafer Johnson as Olympic gold medalists. Also at the 1976 Games, Cuban Alberto Juantorena performed a remarkable feat of versatility, becoming the first man to complete the 400m-800m double.

Yale University product Frank Shorter cruised to victory, becoming the first U.S. marathoner to win Olympic gold since 1908. In the Munich 5000m, American phenom Steve Prefontaine took the lead with a mile to go and held it until less than 600m remained. Prefontaine was passed by Viren, Mohamed Gammoudi of Tunisia and Ian Stewart of Great Britain — the latter just 10m from the finish line — and failed to medal.

As "The Star-Spangled Banner" played and the U.S. flag was raised during the medal ceremony for the men's 200m in Mexico City, gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos, both of the United States, bowed their heads and raised their black-gloved, clenched fists in a demonstration against racial injustice. American discus thrower Al Oerter became the first track and field athlete to win four gold medals in the same event. American high jumper Dick Fosbury claimed Olympic gold using a distinct technique, dubbed the "Fosbury Flop."

American Billy Mills, who had never run the 10,000m in under 29 minutes, clocked a time of 28:24.4 to become the first and still only American to claim Olympic gold in the event. Fellow American Wyomia Tyus claimed the 100m gold medal by defeating her Tennessee State teammate, Edith McGuire. McGuire was also the 200m gold medalist.

As a child, Wilma Rudolph suffered from polio, scarlet fever and pneumonia, and was unable to walk until she was 7. But at the 1960 Rome Olympics, the 20-year-old Tennessee native earned the title of "Fastest Woman in the World" by winning the 100m. Rudolph also won gold in the 200m and 4x100m relay, becoming the first American woman to win three gold medals at one Olympics. In the decathlon, Rafer Johnson of the United States defeated C.K. Yang, his teammate at UCLA.

Dubbed the "Golden Girl" of the Melbourne Games, 18-year-old redhead Betty Cuthbert dazzled the home crowd by winning gold medals in the 100m and 200m, as well as the 4x100m relay. Eight years later at the Tokyo Games, the Australian claimed victory at 400m, becoming the only athlete, male or female, to own Olympic gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

In an amazing display of physical and mental endurance, Czechoslovakian distance runner Emil Zatopek became the first and still only runner to sweep the 5000m, 10,000m and marathon at one Olympics. Known for the pained expression seemingly etched onto his face when he ran, Zatopek set Olympic records in the 5000m and 10,000m in Helsinki before entering – and winning – his first marathon.

Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen, a 30-year-old mother of two, dominated the 1948 Games, winning the 100m, 200m, 80m hurdles and 4x100m relay to become the first and still only woman to claim four track and field gold medals at a single Olympics. Just three months after taking up the decathlon, 17-year-old Bob Mathias became the youngest-ever men's Olympic track and field champion. Four years later in Helsinki, Mathias successfully defended his title.

Under the gaze of Adolph Hitler, who intended the Berlin Games to be a showcase of Aryan superiority, African-American Jesse Owens emerged as an Olympic hero. With a distinct, upright running style — "My foot is only a fraction of the time on the track," he once explained — Owens raced to victories in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. He also won the long jump as part of a four-gold effort.

Nicknamed "Babe" because she could hit a baseball like Babe Ruth, 21-year-old Texan Mildred Didrikson entered the Los Angeles Games qualified for five women's track and field events. But due to rules restricting female participation, she was only allowed to compete in three events. A natural-born, all-around athlete, Didrikson won two Olympic gold medals in the 80m hurdles and javelin, and a silver in the high jump, before going on to become one of the greatest female golfers of all time.

Despite the objections of some, including modern Games founder Baron de Coubertin and Pope Pius XI, women were allowed to compete in Olympic track and field events for the first time in Amsterdam. The women's program included the 100m, 800m and 4x100m relay, plus the high jump and discus. With a victory in the 100m, Betty Robinson, a 16-year-old high school student from Riverdale, Illinois, became the first woman to win an Olympic track and field title.

Finland was a distance-running superpower in the 1920s and 1930s, as evidenced by its success at the 1924 Olympics. The most prolific of the "Flying Finns" was Paavo Nurmi, who won five gold medals in Paris to complement the two golds and one silver he earned four years earlier. Two of Nurmi's 1924 triumphs came in the 1500m and 5000m races held just an hour apart. Finnish officials keep Nurmi out of the 10,000m, which teammate Ville Ritola won in world record time en route to a six-medal output in Paris (four gold, two silver). Nurmi would go on to win the 10,000m in 1928, ultimately closing his Olympic career with nine gold medals.

Runners from Great Britain took the top two spots on the medal stand for the men's 1500m, with Albert Hill winning the gold medal and Philip Baker claiming the silver. Baker, who would later adopt his wife's maiden name and become known as Philip Noel-Baker, went on to a distinguished career as a member of British Parliament and a staunch proponent of global disarmament, eventually earning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959.

Considered by many to be the greatest all-around athlete in history, Jim Thorpe dominated the pentathlon and decathlon competitions in Stockholm. The multi-event sweep inspired King Gustav V of Sweden to tell the gifted American, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world." The reply: "Thanks, king." The following year, Thorpe was stripped of his gold medals when it was revealed he received $15 to play minor league baseball. Seven decades later, the International Olympic Committee reinstated Thorpe as Olympic champion.

As a reported 100,000 spectators looked on, Italy's Dorando Pietri staggered into London's Olympic Stadium for the final 385 yards of the marathon. Pietri, delirious and exhausted, took a wrong turn onto the track, and collapsed. Race officials, despite the fact that their actions would result in disqualification for the Italian runner, rushed to his aid, helping him across the finish line. Although Pietri was denied the gold medal, he gained worldwide fame and became one of the most famous non-winners in Olympic history.

The 1904 marathon is considered one of the strangest Olympic races ever. Among the entrants was a Cuban postman, Felix Carvajal, who hitchhiked to St. Louis after losing his money in a New Orleans crap game. He arrived at the start wearing street shoes and long pants, chatted with spectators mid-race, diverted from the course into an apple orchard and ultimately finished fourth. Another competitor was chased into a cornfield by two dogs. American Fred Lorz crossed the finish line first but was discovered to have hitched a ride for 11 miles. With his admitted practical joke resolved, Lorz's compatriot Thomas Hicks was crowned the official winner.

With victories in the 60m, 110m hurdles, 200m hurdles and long jump at the Paris Games, American Alvin "Al" Kraenzlein set the still-standing record for most individual track and field titles in one Games. Using an unorthodox extended-leg style, he revolutionized hurdling, establishing the style used by future generations. Indiana's Ray Ewry, in the course of one afternoon, won three Olympic titles: the standing long jump, standing high jump and standing triple jump.


Watch the video: Carl Lewis Wins long jump competition with a score of 8,67 Eugene 86


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