Team USA Olympic Gold Medal Winners of the Past: Where Are They Now?
Track and Field athlete Carl Lewis is one of the most decorated American Olympians, with 10 medals in total – nine of them gold. He was named Sports Illustrated’s Olympian of the Century and Sportsman of the Century by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Lewis emulated Jesse Owens’ 1936 Berlin performance by winning four gold medal in the 100 meters, the 200 meters, long jump and 4x100 meter relay. He didn’t receive the lucrative endorsement deals he expected after the 1984 games due to a negative image that circulated shortly after. Lewis was drafted as the 208th overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft and as a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys in the 12th round in the 1984 NFL draft, although he never played in either league.
After his father died in 1987, Lewis put the gold medal he won for the 100 meters in 1984 in his father’s hand to be buried with him, telling his mother not to worry because he would “get another one,” ESPN reported. In the 1988 Seoul games, Lewis won gold in the 100 meters, after Canadian Ben Johnson tested positive for steroids. He also won gold in the long jump and silver in the 200 meters.
Lewis won two gold medals at the 1992 games in Barcelona, in the long jump and the 4x100 meter relay, and he won his final medal in 1996 in Atlanta, receiving the gold medal for the long jump.
The Birmingham, Alabama native is now an assistant track coach at his alma mater, the University of Houston, where he focuses on sprints and jumps and tries develop future Olympians. He is also taking part in an effort to bring the Olympics have to Los Angeles in 2024.