Carl Lewis

Frederick Carlton ‘Carl’ Lewis was encouraged to pursue music lessons rather than getting into sports when he was younger. However, he went out into his back yard, measured out an area of twenty-nine feet, two-and-a-half inches, and stuck a strip of tape on the ground. Even the world's best athletes could not meet that distance, but he began jumping towards it with determination.

What followed from this first backyard jump made global sporting history. Carl Lewis has made five Olympic appearances, winning ten Olympic medals - nine of which are gold. He has competed in ten World Championships and he holds a series of world records set in several athletic categories. Needless to say, top sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis proved what it is to know how important it is to believe in yourself. In his 17 year athletic career he has earned an array of accolades and nicknames, such as 'Olympian of the century', 'King Carl', 'Sportsman of the Century' and 'the Son of the Wind'. These names speak for themselves as to why Carl is one of the most world renowned athletes of all time. He retired from active competition in 1997.

Today, he uses his fame to encourage others not to give up, and to always do their best. He established the Carl Lewis Foundation to empower youth, adults and families through track and field activities, and to enhance their life opportunities through initiatives to strengthen education and support personal health. In 2009, Carl was nominated Goodwill Ambassador for FAO and YUNGA. In this capacity, Carl has supported both the Run for Food race and the 1billionhungry project, the International Year of Forests, the World Humanitarian Day 2011, the Race Against Hunger and the Horn of Africa fundraising campaign. Carl is actively taking part in an online social media (Twitter and Facebook) campaign to raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals.