Carl Lewis - The 1984 Olympics
Famous Sports StarsTrack and FieldCarl Lewis Biography - Growing Up, The "next Jesse Owens", The 1984 Olympics, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY LEWIS:
The Olympics (1984 )
Lewis won four gold medals in the Olympics in Los Angeles, matching Owens' performance in Berlin in 1936. He won the 100-meter race in 9.99 seconds, jumped 28 feet1/4 inch to win the long jump, led a U.S. sweep of the 200-meter, and anchored the U.S. team that set a new world record with its win in the 4 × 100 relay.
But a backlash against Lewis's personality detracted from his feats. He was attacked as greedy when his personal manager declared that he wanted Lewis to make as much money as singer Michael Jackson. Lewis decided to stay at a friend's house, not the Olympic village, during the games, leading some to call him a prima donna. He ran his victory lap after the 100-meter race with a large U.S. flag a fan handed him. Some news reports claimed Lewis had planted the fan there to give him the flag—though he hadn't. When Lewis chose not to take all his jumps in the long-jump competition, spectators who hoped to see him break the world record booed—even though he was following good track-meet strategy, saving his strength for his other events. After the controversies, product-endorsement deals Lewis expected didn't come through, and he became bitter toward the press for a while.
After the games, Lewis took acting lessons, played a bit part in a movie, and recorded an album, The Feeling That I Feel, and some singles. The album "wasn't bad. It just wasn't good," Lewis later admitted. Still, his single "Break It Up" went gold in Sweden. He recorded with Quincy Jones and sang the national anthem at a few meets.
In 1987, Lewis's father died. He left his coveted 100-meter gold medal in his father's coffin and pledged to win another one.