London 2012

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis is featured in our Sky Sports TV series called 'Sporting Greats', Click Here to watch online.

Fascinating facts

  • Lewis was selected in the 10th round of the 1984 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls.
  • Lewis threw the ceremonial first pitch for the Seattle Mariners at a major League Baseball game in 2003, with the ball falling well short of the catcher and eventually rolling into his glove.

Possibly the greatest sprinter of all time, Lewis enjoyed unequalled success in the blue riband event of the Games - the 100 metres.

The self-assured American shares the record for the most athletics gold medals (nine) with Paavo Nurmi and is one of only of two athletes to win four straight gold medals in a single event (long jump).

By the time of his first Olympics in 1984, Lewis was already a multiple world champion and a dominant force on the track, but his greatest achievement was just around the corner.

The then 23-year-old matched the feat of the legendary Jesse Owens by claiming gold in the 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay in front of a home crowd in Los Angeles.

But his success was marred slightly as he was booed after sitting out his last four attempts in the long jump, passing up the chance to try and beat Bob Beamon's long-standing world record.

Four years later in Seoul, Lewis crossed the line second to Ben Johnson in the most eagerly-anticipated 100m final in history but would inherit the gold medal when the Canadian infamously failed a drugs test.

The promotion made Lewis the first and so far only man to win two gold medals in the event and another gold followed in the long jump, although he was unable to retain his 200m title after being beaten by Joe DeLoach.

He did not qualify for the sprint events in 1992 in Barcelona after falling victim to the notoriously tough American trials system, but anchored the 4x100m relay team home in a new world record.

Lewis also edged out arch-rival Mike Powell to win the long jump and came back four years later to win his fourth gold in the event, at the age of 35, on home soil in Atlanta.

Carl Lewis

  • DOB: 1/7/1961
  • Events: 100m/200m/long jump
  • Medals: Nine golds, one silver