Born July 1, 1961 in Birmingham, Al 6-2/1.88m 175lbs./79kg Willingboro HS, Willingboro, NJ '79 Houston '81 PRs (outdoor): 100 9.86 '91 (9.78w '88) 200 19.75 '83 300 32.18 '84 400 47.01 '93 LJ 29-1.25/8.87m '91 (29-2.75/8.91w '91) PRs (indoor): 50 5.72 '84 55 6.02y '83 60 6.60 '89 200 20.75 '92 LJ 28-10.25/8.79 '84 (WR) Major Meets: 1978 4)USA Junior LJ 1979 6)USA Indoor LJ 2)USA LJ 2)USA Junior 200 3)Pan-Am Games LJ 1980 3)USA Indoor LJ 1)NCAA Indoor LJ 1)NCAA LJ 4)Olympic Trials 100 2)Olympic Trials LJ 1)USA Junior 100 1)USA Junior 200 1)Pan-Am Junior 100 1)Pan-Am Junior 200 1981 2)USA Indoor LJ 1)NCAA Indoor 60y 1)NCAA Indoor LJ 1)NCAA 100 1)NCAA LJ 1)USA 100 1)USA LJ 1)World Cup LJ 9)World Cup 100 (inj) 1982 1)USA Indoor LJ 1)USA 100 1)USA LJ 1983 1)USA Indoor 60y 1)USA Indoor LJ 1)USA 100 1)USA 200 1)USA LJ 1)World Championships 100 1)World Championships LJ 1984 1)USA Indoor LJ 1)Olympic Trials 100 1)Olympic Trials 200 1)Olympic Trials LJ 1)Olympic Games 100 1)Olympic Games 200 1)Olympic Games LJ 1985 4h)USA 100 1986 1)USA 100 4)USA 200 1)USA LJ 1987 3)USA Indoor 55 2)USA 100 1)USA 200 1)USA LJ 1)Pan-Am Games LJ 2)World Championships 100 1)World Championships LJ 1)GP Final 200 1988 1)Olympic Trials 100 2)Olympic Trials 200 1)Olympic Trials LJ 1)Olympic Games 100 2)Olympic Games 200 1)Olympic Games LJ 1990 1)USA 100 3)GP Final 100 1991 2)USA 100 1)USA LJ 1)World Championships 100 2)World Championships LJ 1992 1)USA Indoor LJ 6)Olympic Trials 100 4)Olympic Trials 200 2)Olympic Trials LJ 1)Olympic Games LJ 2)GP Final 100 1993 3)USA 100 2)USA 200 4)World Championships 100 3)World Championships 200 1995 6)USA 100 2)USA LJ 1996 6h)USA Indoor 60 8)Olympic Trials 100 5)Olympic Trials 200 3)Olympic Trials LJ 1)Olympic Games LJ Major Relays: 1980 dq-h)NCAA 4 x 100  1)Pan-Am Juniors 4 x 100  1983 1)World Championships 4 x 100  1984 1)Olympic Games 4 x 100  1987 1)Pan-Am Games 4 x 100  1987 1)World Championships 4 x 100  1991 1)World Championships 4 x 100  1992 1)Olympic Games 4 x 100 
Carl Lewis is perhaps the most dominant track and field athlete in the last 15 years. The influence of his achievements in the sport has gone far beyond what might show up in any summary of his results. Lewis, along with manager Joe Douglas, has been one of the driving forces in the professionalization of the sport.
More articles have been written about Lewis than any other track athlete in recent memory, but the Houston resident remains an enigma in many ways. While he can call himself a superstar without fear of anyone correcting him, he has not been able to bring his overseas popularity home to the United States. For most track fans, Lewis is a love-him or hate-him figure. His outspoken nature, combined with his mind-boggling talent, leaves little room for neutrality among followers of the sport.
Could anyone, even Lewis himself, have envisioned all this, the records, medals, controversies, way back -- a long, long time ago -- when his sister Carol was beating him in the long jump?
Lewis grew up in Willingboro, New Jersey, and came from an athletic family. His mother -- as Evelyn Lawler -- made the 1951 Pan-Am team in the hurdles. When his father, Bill, died of cancer in 1987, Lewis buried his first Olympic gold with him. Both his parents had been active with the Willingboro Track Club. Sister Carol won notoriety before he did, as the nation's preeminent prep long jumper. A sprinter at age seven, a long jumper at 13, Carl didn't become famous until his senior year in high school. Then he improved his PR from 25-9 to 26-8 and ranked number five in the world, all before moving to Houston to work with Tom Tellez, a collaboration that has now lasted a decade and a half. "This may sound funny," he said way back then, "but my goal is to be the best of all time."
Even before Lewis jumped past 27 feet, that rudimentary yardstick for world-class status in the long jump, he had his eyes on the long jump World Record: "I'm capable of it."
The best of all time? Yes, though many would still vote for Jesse Owens on that count. The World record-holder in the long jump? Not yet. Many feel that Lewis could have easily broken the Beamon record in his peak years if he had gone up to altitude. Lewis, wanting an untainted mark, refused.
He came closest to the record in Tokyo at the 1991 World Championships, dueling with Mike Powell in the long jump of the century. Lewis opened up that competition at 28-5.75, looking like pure gold. He improved to a wind-aided 28-11.75 in round three, and a windy 29-2.75 on his next attempt. Then Mike Powell flew out to 29-4.5, breaking Beamon's monolithic record by a centimeter. Lewis responded as only he could, with attempts of 29-1.75 and 29-0, but they weren't enough. He had produced five efforts that averaged 28-11.75 (better than his PR the day before). And not only did he see the record that had been "promised" to him taken away, he suffered his first LJ loss in 10 years and 65 meets.
Here is a look at how the Olympic legend earned his nine gold medals:
1980-At the Trials, the Houston yearling jumped 26-3.5w to make the Olympic team that went nowhere due to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. He also ran fourth in the 100, making the fictional 4 x 100 squad.
1984-Eleven years earlier, Lewis had met his idol, Jesse Owens. In Los Angeles, he emulated him as no other fan could. On August 4, he won the 100 in 9.99, using an incredible finishing burst to overcome the strong start of teammate Sam Graddy. In the long jump (August 6), he went 28-0.25 to sew up the win on his first attempt. He fouled his next leap and passed on the rest, hoping to conserve effort for his remaining two events. The crowd booed him. "I was shocked at first," he said, "But after I thought about it I realized they were booing because they wanted to see more of Carl Lewis. I guess that's flattering." The booing reflected badly upon American fans, but some point to that incident as the beginning of Lewis' difficulty in capturing the popularity that many had thought would be inevitable.
On August 8, Lewis appeared invincible in crushing the 200 field with his 19.80. He led an American sweep of the medals: "There's an added joy when you can share this feeling with your teammates." On August 11, Lewis joined with Graddy, Ron Brown and Calvin Smith to win the 4 x 100 gold in a World record 37.83. It would be the only WR of the Games. "We wanted to give the home crowd a WR today," he said.
1988-In Seoul, Lewis attempted to repeat his four-gold performance, but events turned out as none would have predicted. On September 24 he ran the fastest 100 of his life, 9.92, but was soundly thrashed by Canadian Ben Johnson's 9.79. "I ran the best I could, and I'm pleased with the race," said an obviously disappointed Lewis.
On September 26, Lewis led the long jump after three rounds before getting into a dispute with officials over the jumping order. He claimed the schedule did not give him enough rest time because he was competing in the 200m heats the same day. The other U.S. jumpers protested that he should get no special treatment. After 15 minutes of arguing, Lewis flew to 28-7.5 on his fourth attempt. That gave him another gold at the head of an American sweep.
On September 27, Lewis found out from Tellez that Johnson had tested positive for the steroid stanozolol and been stripped of the 100 win. The gold would go to Lewis, though much of the glory had been robbed from it.
The next day, September 28, Lewis got beat fair-and-square in the 200 final by training partner Joe DeLoach. Lewis ran 19.79, but DeLoach closed better to grab the gold in an Olympic record 19.75. "I hated to come between Carl and his dream," said DeLoach.
On September 30, Lewis' hopes for a seventh gold medal fizzled, and he wasn't even on the track to do anything about it. In the heats of the 4 x 100, a bad pass between Calvin Smith and relay alternate Lee McNeill resulted in a disqualification for the U.S. Lewis had planned to run only the final.
1992-Another four golds wasn't an option in Barcelona. At the Trials in New Orleans, Lewis had finished sixth in the 100. At 200, he finished fourth, just 0.01 away from a team berth. He would compete only in the long jump and relay at the Games.
The long jump final on August 6 saw Lewis get revenge over Powell in their second meeting since Powell took the WR in Tokyo. He popped a first-round 28-5.5. Powell struggled in second and on his last attempt came close, missing by three centimeters. The relay final came two days later and Lewis capped the best performance in history. Michael Marsh, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell joined with him for a World record 37.40.
1996-With a 9.94w in the weeks leading up to the Trials, Lewis stock ran high. In the 100, he made it through the rounds in one piece, but complained of cramping in his first steps in the final. He finished last in 10.21. Immediately the debate began over whether he would run the relay in the Games. He claimed he wouldn't get involved in the coaches' decision.
A few days later, he placed third in the long jump with a credible leap of 27-2.75. "The trials are about creating opportunities," he said.
Finally, in the 200, Lewis ran 20.20 from lane one, having a perfect vantage to watch Michael Johnson break the World record with his 19.66. Lewis wouldn't be sprinting in the Games, and it was probably just as well.
At the Olympics, the relay controversy went full-tilt. In the midst of it all, Lewis performed like a champion. He had the longest jump in the qualifying round, a 27-2.5 on his last try. That soothed fans frightened by the prospect that he wouldn't even make the final.
In the final, Lewis proved himself golden. His third round 27-10.75 couldn't be approached by his rivals. With four consecutive golds in one event, he matched the matchless Al Oerter. He made history, once again.
Despite the controversy over the relay, with passionate feelings on both sides, the U.S. coaches decided not to run Lewis on the 4 x 100. The team won a silver medal and the arguments over how it would have done with Lewis on anchor are essentially unresolvable.
What now for Lewis? Reports early in the year had him retiring in June. But his attorney, David Greifinger, says not so. "The real story is, he plans this year to go to a lot of cities, a combination of places he's never been and places where he's had good experiences," says Greifinger.
"What will probably happen in 1998 is he won't tour Europe, he'll do a very limited number of meets for Nike, and that will be it."
After a nearly 20-year run, the sport will lose one of the greatest talents it has ever seen. There will be other champions, but there will never again be another Carl Lewis.