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Sports Illustrated calls Carl Lewis "the most enduring champion in track and field history". Others term the sprinter/long jumper the greatest athlete of his era, if not all time. The former University of Houston performer earned such acclaim by winning nine Gold Medals in four Olympics: the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4X100 meter relay in 1984 at Los Angeles; the 100 meters and long jump in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, the long jump and 4X100 meter relay in 1992 at Barcelona, Spain and the long jump in 1996 at Atlanta. Lewis missed other opportunities as an 18-year old Olympian in 1980 when the United States boycotted the Summer Games in Moscow. His unparalleled achievements also included eight Gold Medals in the World Championships. Lewis twice broke the world record mark in the 100 and six times in nine years he anchored the world record 4X100 relay team. Lewis was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

Carl Lewis