Lewis ties Owens with gold

On August 11, 1984, American track star, Carl Lewis, ran in the 4×100 relay as he tied Jesse Owens  when he claimed his fourth gold track and field medal one Olympiad.

Lewis’ four golds in the Los Angeles Games came after participating in the long jump, 100 and 200 meter sprints alongside the relay, the same events Owens won while competing in  the 1936 Berlin games.

The relay also featured Sam Graddy of Atlanta, Ron Brown of Phoenix, Calvin Smith of Bolton, Miss. They finished in 37.83 seconds, seven meters ahead of the others.

New York Times sports columnist, Frank Litsky wrote, “At the medal ceremony, Lewis wore brand new jogging shoes. The shoes were white and trimmed in, yes, gold.”

Lewis’teammates surprised the world by carrying him off the field after his demands for special treatment.

Lewis winning four gold medals in Los Angeles. Video Source: rugbydad678 on YouTube

“Jesse Owens is still the same man to me he was before,” Lewis said. “He is a legend. I’m just a person. I still feel like the same Carl Lewis I was six years ago, except I’m a little older and a lot more people come to my press conferences.”

Lewis went on to compete in Soul, Barcelona and Atlanta, totaling nine gold medals and one silver. He grabbed two Olympic records and two world records.

Recently, Lewis criticized the focus the 24-hour news cycle has had on scandals. He feels people are forgetting what the games accomplish.

While it is natural to discuss the issues facing the Olympics like drug testing and other inappropriate conduct but the fixation is taking away from the games themselves. In many cases people who come from warring nations are forced to live in close proximity and even interact with each other.

The Olympic games should be taken as an opportunity for people to get together and change the world for better.

New York Times article “‘The Time of my Life'” by Frank Litsky

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