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Texas State Hero

Carl Lewis   Adopted: June 8, 1985
Texas state hero
Texas State Hero: Carl Lewis

Track and field athlete and Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations, Carl Lewis was named Texas' second hero when Governor Mark White signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 200 on June 8, 1985.

Brief highlights of the career of Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis:

  • Participated in long jump events when he was 13 years old.
  • Promising athlete at Willingboro High School.
  • Broke high school long jump record with a leap of 26 feet, 8 inches.
  • 1979 - Pan American Games, San Juan (bronze medal, long jump)
  • 1980 - Liberty Bell Classic, Philadelphia (bronze medal, long jump)
  • 1983 - IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Helsinki (won 100 meters; ran on wining 4x100 relay team; won long jump; James E. Sullivan Award for the best athlete)
  • 1984 - Summer Olympics, Los Angeles (gold medal, 100 meters; gold medal, 200 meters, tied Jesse Owens' 1936 record; gold medal, 4×100 meters relay; gold medal, long jump)
  • 1986 - Goodwill Games, Moscow (gold medal, 4x100 relay; bronze medal, 20 meters)
  • 1987 - Pan American Games, Indianapolis (gold medal, 4x100 relay; gold medal, long jump)
  • 1987 - IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Rome (won 100 meters; ran on wining 4x100 relay team; won long jump)
  • 1988 - Summer Olympics, Seoul (gold medal, 100 meters; gold medal, long jump; silver medal, 200 meters)
  • 1990 - Goodwill Games, Seattle (gold medal, long jump; silver medal, 100 meters)
  • 1991 - IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Tokyo (won 100 meters; ran on wining 4x100 relay team; second in long jump)
  • 1992 - Summer Olympics, Barcelona (gold medal, 4x100 relay; gold medal, long jump)
  • 1993 - IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Stuttgart (bronze medal, 200 meters)
  • 1994 - Goodwill Games, St. Petersburg (gold medal 4x100 relay)
  • 1996 - Summer Olympics, Atlanta (gold medal, long jump)

H. C. R. 200


WHEREAS, Carl Lewis is an outstanding athlete whose world-renowned achievements have brought a high measure of attention and praise to his adopted home of Texas; and

WHEREAS, A hero of the 1984 Summer Olympics, Frederick Carlton Lewis was born in Birmingham, Alabama; his family's home is in Willingboro, New Jersey, but it was in Houston where he attended the University of Houston and made impressive advances toward his highly acclaimed Olympic success; and

WHEREAS, Under the challenging direction of Houston Coach Tom Tellez, he refined his skill and technique, qualified for the United States Olympic team, and was named U.S. track and field athlete of the year by Track and Field News; he was also the NCAA long-jump champion in 1980 and 1981 and 100-yard dash champion in 1981, and he holds the collegiate records in both of these events; and

WHEREAS, In 1984 alone, his career highlights included winning four gold medals at the Olympic Games and being named the world's best athlete by AIPS (an international group of sportswriters), a UPI poll of European sports editors, an AP poll of European sportswriters, an AP poll of American sportswriters, an Athletics Weekly readers, poll, L'Equipe, Vitalis, Dunlap, and Jesse Owens International; and

WHEREAS, He won Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, long jump, and 400-meter relay and is the first track and field athlete to win four gold medals in an Olympics meet since Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Berlin games; and

WHEREAS, This athletic superstar holds the Olympic record for the 200-meter dash and shares the record for the 400-meter relay, and he has been named world athlete of the year for an unprecedented third straight year by Track and Field News; and

WHEREAS, Ranked first in both the 100-yard dash and the long jump for four years, he has compiled an unsurpassed track and field performance record; his official time in the 100-yard dash has been 10 seconds or less six times, he has jumped more than 28 feet 24 times, he has 16 of the top 20 long-jump marks in history, and he has recorded the 11 best indoor long jumps in history; and

WHEREAS, Known as somewhat reserved and as a person who enjoys a quiet home life, he is also quite comfortable in front of a camera, a good speaker, and a lover of fast cars; he has taken acting lessons and a number of communications and broadcasting courses and has worked for Houston television station KTRK; and

WHEREAS, The Lewis family is a close and supportive family and all members are impressive athletes equally worthy of note; his mother was a hurdler on the 1951 Pan-Am team; his oldest brother holds a county sprint record in New Jersey where they grew up, his other brother was one of the first and few Americans in the North American Soccer League, and his younger sister was also an Olympic competitor and medal winner; and

WHEREAS, Carl Lewis is a man who represents the very best in American determination, physical ability, and achievement, and he truly merits the recognition and high praise of the people of this state; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 69th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby officially recognize Carl Lewis, Olympic gold-medal winner and preeminent athlete, as an official state hero and commend him on his unsurpassed record of athletic accomplishments; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That an official copy of the resolution be prepared for Mr. Lewis as an expression of best wishes from the members of the Texas Legislature.

Over his competitive career, Carl Lewis won 9 Olympic gold medals, three silver medals, and three bronze medals.


"Carl Lewis: King Carl." Olympics. The International Olympic Committee. Web. 2 Apr 2013. .
"Carl Lewis." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 01 Apr 2013. Web. 2 Apr 2013.
Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

Additional Information

Carl Lewis: King Carl: Official website of the International Olympic Committee.

Carl Lewis: Official website of the multi-sport athlete.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Texas state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.