Carl Lewis

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Lewis, Carl

(Frederick Carlton Lewis), 1961–, American sprinter and jumper, b. Birmingham, Ala. A star in high school and at the Univ. of Houston, he became possibly the greatest track athlete of all time. After winning three gold medals at the World Championships in Helsinki in 1983, he went on at the 1984 Summer Olympics to match Jesse OwensOwens, Jesse,
1913–80, U.S. track star, b. Alabama. He was also called John Cleveland Owens, although his original name was said to be simply J. C. Owens. After his family moved to Cleveland he excelled at track and field events in high school.
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's record by winning four gold medals (the 100-m and 200-m sprints, the long jump, and the 4×100-m relay). He also won three medals—two gold and one silver—at the 1988 Olympic games, two gold again in 1992, and another gold in 1996, tying the record for most gold medals overall (nine). He retired in 1997.
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Lewis, (Frederick Carlton) Carl

(1961–  ) track and field athlete; born in Birmington, Ala. A stand-out all-around athlete at Houston University (1979–82), he went on to win four gold medals in the 1984 Olympics (100-meter, 200-meter, 4 × 100 meter relay, and long jump), two more in the 1988 Games (100-meter and long jump), and an unprecedented third consecutive gold medal in the long jump in the 1992 Olympics. Although he was awarded the gold medal for the 100-meter dash in the 1988 Olympics only after it was taken from Ben Johnson (because he used drugs), Lewis held the world record in the 100-meter dash and dominated the long jump for many years. Although his independent, sometimes distant manner alienated some journalists, he remained a charismatic figure to track fans. He was a fierce competitor and is widely acknowledged to be one of the sport's all-time greatest athletes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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