Carl Lewis’ Tribute to His Father
SeoulAt his fathers funeral, American Carl Lewis placed his 100-meter gold medal from the 1984 Olympics in his fathers hands. “Dont worry,” he told his surprised mother. “Ill get another one.”
A year later, in the 100-meter final at the 1988 games, Lewis was competing against Canadian world-record-holder Ben Johnson. Halfway through the race Johnson was five feet in front. Lewis was convinced he could catch him. But at 80 meters, he was still five feet behind. Its over, Dad, Lewis thought. As Johnson crossed the finish, he stared back at Lewis and thrust his right arm in the air, index finger extended.
Lewis was exasperated. He had noticed Johnsons bulging muscles and yellow-tinged eyes, both indications of steroid use. “I didnt have the medal, but I could still give to my father by acting with class and dignity,” Lewis said later. He shook Johnsons hand and left the track.
But then came the announcement that Johnson had tested positive for anabolic steroids. He was stripped of his medal. The gold went to Lewis, a replacement for the medal he had given his father.