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On August 4, 1984, legendary track-and-field athlete Carl Lewis won his first of nine Olympics gold medals he would claim over the course of four Games, with a time of 9.99 seconds in the 100-meter dash in Los Angeles.

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Lewis entered the 1984 Olympic Games with the aspiration of matching the achievement of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Games in Berlin when he claimed gold in four events — the 100 and 200-meter dashes, long jump and 4 x 100-meter relay.


Lewis started his quest to replicate Owens’ feat with a dominating performance in the 100m. He out sprinted his nearest competitor, fellow American Sam Graddy, by 0.2 seconds, by turning in the only sub-10-second performance of the Games.

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Lewis followed his electric run in the 100m with a workman-like victory in the long jump (28 feet), as he conserved energy for his final two events. His third gold came in the 200m with an Olympic record time of 19.80 seconds, and was followed by his anchoring the United States relay team to a world record in the 4 x 100m with a time of 37.83 seconds


While Lewis would go on to win the 100m competition at three more Olympic Games, his fastest time in track’s signature event would come at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan. Racing at thirty years of age, Lewis bested a field in which six runners finished in under 10 seconds, with a world record time of 9.86 seconds.