At the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Lewis emulated his boyhood idol Jesse Owens by winning gold in the 100m, the 200m, the long jump and the 4x100m relay. A superstar was born.
At the 1988 Seoul Games, Lewis defended his 100m title after Ben Johnson was disqualified. He also defended his long jump title and claimed silver in the 200m. Four years later in Barcelona, he won a third gold medal in the long jump, defeating world record holder Mike Powell by just three centimetres. He also anchored the world record-setting US relay team.
Lewis only just scraped into the US Olympic long jump team for the 1996 Atlanta Games. He then needed all three jumps to qualify for the final. However in the final, he majestically moved into first place with his third jump and stayed there.
His success in the long jump made Carl Lewis one of only three Olympians to win the same individual event four times. He is also one of only four Olympic athletes to win nine gold medals.