Carl LewisFrederick Carlton Lewis (born July 1, 1961 in Birmingham, Alabama) is an American athlete. He has won 10 Olympic medals, of which 9 are gold.
At age 13, Lewis started to compete in the long jump. With his high sprinting speed, he also performed well in the sprint events. In 1980, he had been selected for the US Olympic team, but a American boycott of the Games delayed Lewis' debut.
The following seasons, Lewis set the world's season best performances in the 100 m and long jump. At the inaugural World Championships in 1983, Lewis won his first major titles, achieving victory in the 100 m, long jump and the 4 x 100 m relay events.
This made him a great favourite for success at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Also entering the 200 m, Lewis sought to equal Jesse Owens' performance of 1936 by winning these four events, which he did.
After he had repeated his 1983 performance at the World Championships in Rome in 1987, he was set for four more golds at the 1988 Olympics. But things didn't go his way. He won the 100 m, but only after Ben Johnson had been disqualified for doping. In the 200 m, he was surprisingly beaten by compatriot Joe DeLoach. The 4 x 100 m relay team was disqualified in the heats (with Lewis not even running) for a bad exchange. Lewis had no problems defending his long jump title and headed an all-American podium.
After that year, Lewis' dominance in the sprint events became less, though his long jump was still excellent. However, he was challenged in that event as well, as compatriot Mike Powell won an exicting duel at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, in which the legendary record of Bob Beamon from 1968 was finally broken.
At the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, another duel between the two was decided in favour of Lewis, winning his third consecutive Olympic long jump title. Lewis also ran the last leg of the American 4 x 100 m team.
In the years to come, Lewis didn't win any major titles. In 1996 - aged 36 - he made a strong comeback in the long jump event, and made a bid for a fourth consecutive Olympic title. Lewis succeeded with remarkably ease, becoming only the third Olympian to win four consecutive titles in an individual event - the two others being Al Oerter (discus throw 1956-1968) and Paul Elvstrøm (yachting, 1948-1960). If Lewis would have qualified for the 4 x 100 m team, he could have won his tenth Olympic gold, surpassing his countryman Ray Ewry as the most successful male Olympian.
Carl Lewis recorded a single called "Break It Up" in 1987 with his band: Carl Lewis and the Electric Storm. It solded about 500.000 copies.
Lewis retired after the Atlanta Olympics and is now an actor.