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 Owens's record by winning four gold medals (the 100-m and 200-m sprints, the long jump, and the 4 × 100-meter 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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