Carl Lewis will go down in history as one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time. The American sprinter and long jumper competed in four Olympiads and won a total of nine gold medals and one silver medal, including four golds in the long jump. He first rose to prominence in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics when duplicated Jesse Owens’ 1936 feat by winning four gold medals in the 100m dash, 200m dash, long jump and 4x100 relay. In 1988, Lewis lost in the 100m final to Ben Johnson, but the Canadian was stripped of his gold medal and world record after testing positive for steroids.Lewis would never equal his four-gold haul in LA in succeeding Olympics, conceding the 200m title in Seoul and the 100m crown in Barcelona, but he never relinquished his long jump title during his four Olympic stints. He almost did not make it, though, to Atlanta in ’96, barely qualifying for the US team and needing three jumps in the main competition to make it to the finals. But somehow, the 35-year-old managed to snag a fourth long jump gold and retired undefeated in the Olympics in that event, becoming just the third Olympian to win the same individual event four times. (Source: Olympic.org)
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