Named as “Olympian of the Century” in 2001 by the American Sports magazine “Sports Illustrated” and “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee, Frederick Carlton “Carl” Lewis is an American former track and field athlete. Named as the United States amateur athlete, Carl Lewis was the second athlete after Jesse Owens in NCAA history to win 100 meters as well as long jump at the college championships. Best known for his 65 consecutive victories achieved since 1984 till 1994, Carl Lewis has won 10 Olympic medals including 9 gold as well as 10 World Championship Medals including 9 gold. Lewis was named as “Athlete of the Year” for three consecutive years 1983-85 by Track and Field News as he topped the world rankings in the 100m, 200m as well as long jump events for around a decade in the 1980’s.
Apart from being an athlete Lewis also acted in several movies as well as television series where he played himself and he also promoted fitness by means of his own charitable foundation; “The Carl Lewis Foundation”. Apart from his own charitable foundation, Lewis also supported various other charities and he is still known as an active philanthropist. His keen interest in American politics is proved by the fact that in 2011, being a democrat, he announced that he would contest for the New Jersey State Senate. This dream of Lewis was shattered because he had to withdraw from his candidacy because contesting from any state in the United States requires state residency which Lewis did not possess. One of the most astonishing facts about Lewis’s diet is that he is a vegan and attributes all his success to his vegan diet. He has admitted skipping meals to keep his body in shape but it was later that he understood that a proper vegetarian diet can help him gain all the essential proteins that are required by any athlete. Under the influence of Dr. John Mc.Dougall who challenged Lewis to eat a vegetarian diet for a few days and Jay Cordich, a juice man who explained Lewis the importance of drinking at least 16 ounces of fresh juice daily, Lewis actually turned into a vegan; not only a vegetarian. Lewis explains the importance of avoiding fried food as well as dairy products to live a healthy lifestyle and credits his 1991 Olympics success to his vegan diet. Considering his body as a temple, Lewis further explains that no one can force you to eat anything you do not wish and if you nourish your body well, you will increase its longevity. Lewis today owns CLEG, a marketing and branding company which not only brands and markets his own products and services but for other companies too. Lewis is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and he was also named as the Event Ambassador of world 10K Bangalore. Olympics awaits another field athlete who can surpass what Lewis has achieved.