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Carl Lewis Wins Long Jump Gold

Track & Field On This Day

On this day, in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics, Carl Lewis won long jump for his second of 4 gold medals.

 

  August 6, 1984

Sport: Track & Field

 

Carl Lewis entered the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles with a realistic chance at matching a milestone set by his idol and American track and field legend Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. 

Lewis got halfway there on Aug. 6, 1984, by winning gold in the men’s long jump event. Lewis won the championship easily, and only jumped once, knowing his leap of 28 feet was sufficient to win. Lewis, who planned to compete in two more events, decided that the extra attempts could lead to injury due to overworking himself on the cold day and opted to not jump anymore. He was loudly booed by the American crowd that wanted to see him break the world record of 29 feet. 

When asked about it later, Lewis said, “I was shocked at first. But after I thought about it, I realized that they were booing because they wanted to see more of Carl Lewis. I guess that's flattering."
Lewis matched Owens’ record in Los Angeles after adding gold medals in the 100-meter dash (9.99 seconds), 200 meters (19.8 seconds, a new Olympic record at the time) and as a member of the 4x100-meter relay, in which ran the anchor leg to help the team win with a then-Olympic record time of 37.83 seconds. He won a total of nine Olympic gold medals, and one silver in his career. 


Sources
USATF, Track and Field Archives

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