• U.S.

Runner Carl Lewis: Final Frames Of the Olympic Games

2 minute read
Lee Griggs, Kumiko Makihara and Ellie Mcgrath/Seoul

With a leap of 28 ft. 7 1/2 in., Carl Lewis became the first man in Olympic history to win the long jump twice. His victory led U.S. teammates Mike Powell and Larry Myricks in a one-two-three finish. Said a jubilant Lewis: “It was a great feeling to see Americans sweep the event.” But the long jump was the only thing that turned out as he had hoped.

Lewis’ aim in Seoul was to recapture the four gold medals he had won in Los Angeles four years earlier. The first blow to his dream came when Ben Johnson left him behind in the 100-meter sprint. Lewis’ quadruple quest was suddenly revived when the gold medal was awarded to him by default after Johnson’s positive test for steroids. Lewis seemed to be headed for another gold in the 200 meters, but was inched out at the tape by his teammate and friend Joe DeLoach. “Now the world knows how well Joe is running,” Lewis said after the race. “At the end, he had more strength.” The bitterest frustration, however, came when the anchor man on the U.S. B team, running in a heat for the 4 X 100-meter relay, took possession of the baton outside the designated zone. That meant disqualification, preventing the regular U.S. squad, which Lewis would have anchored, from competing in the finals. Carl’s still remarkable Olympic total: six golds and a silver. “This has been a bizarre Olympics,” he summed up at week’s end. “There have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs and a lot of in-betweens.”

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