Steve Lewis (sprinter)

Last updated
Steve Lewis
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1969-05-16) May 16, 1969 (age 49)
Los Angeles, California
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Sport Running
Event(s) 400 metres
College team UCLA Bruins

Steven Earl Lewis (born May 16, 1969) is a former American track and field athlete, winner of three gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olympics and 1992 Summer Olympics.

1988 Summer Olympics Games of the XXIV Olympiad, celebrated in Seoul (South Korea) in 1988

The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated from 17 September to 2 October 1988 in Seoul, South Korea.

1992 Summer Olympics Games of the XXV Olympiad, held in Barcelona in 1992

The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from July 25 to August 9, 1992.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Steve Lewis took up track at Sutter Middle School and later went to Banning High School. He transferred to American High School in Fremont, California, following his sophomore year, where he graduated in 1987. While at American he competed in track and field and still holds the Mission Valley Athletic League record in the 400 meters. He won the CIF California State Meet in 1986 and 1987. [1] He would go on to attend UCLA. As a freshman at UCLA, Lewis had a spectacular year in 1988, when the precocious 19-year-old not only completely rewrote the world junior all-time list in the 400 m, but also proved his mettle in senior competition by winning the Olympic gold medal.

Phineas Banning High School

Phineas Banning High School is located in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Fremont, California City in California, United States

Fremont is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the annexing of Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San José, and Warm Springs. The city is named after John C. Frémont, an American explorer and former US Senator from California, Governor from Arizona, Major General in the Union Army, and the first Republican presidential candidate, in 1856.

The Mission Valley Athletic League is a collaboration of eight schools, of which seven are in the Tri-Cities area of Fremont, Newark and Union City, California and one is in Hayward. The MVAL is part of the Bay Shore Conference in the North Coast Section (NCS).

Lewis had not been a total unknown prior to 1988, having set a personal best of 45.76 at the 1987 USA national junior championships, but he caught many unawares when he won his quarter-final at the USA Olympic Trials with new world junior record of 44.61, and then slashed this time the following day, when he won his semi-final in 44.11. Despite this performance, Lewis could only finish third in the final in 44.37, having been well beaten by his older compatriots, Butch Reynolds and his UCLA teammate, Danny Everett.

United States Olympic Trials (track and field) United States Olympic Trials for track and field

The United States Olympic Trials for the sport of track and field is the quadrennial meet to select the United States representatives at the Olympic Games. Since 1992, the meet has also served as the year's USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Because of the depth of competition in some events, this has been considered by many to be the best track meet in the world. The event is regularly shown on domestic U.S. Television and covered by a thousand members of the worldwide media. As with all Olympic sports, the meet is conducted by the national governing body for the sport, currently USA Track & Field (USATF), which was previously named The Athletics Congress (TAC) until 1992. Previous to the formation of TAC in 1979, the national governing body for most "amateur" sports was the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

Harry "Butch" Reynolds is an American former track and field athlete who competed in the 400 meter dash. He held the world record for the event for 11 years with his personal best time of 43.29 seconds set in 1988. That year, he was the silver medalist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a relay gold medalist. He was banned for drug use for two years by the IAAF, following an unsuccessful legal appeal.

Danny Everett is an American former track and field athlete who competed in sprinting events, specializing in the 400 metres. He won bronze medals in the 400m at the 1988 Olympic Games and at the 1991 World Championships, and won gold medals in the 4 x 400m relay at the 1987 World Championships and the 1988 Olympic Games. His 400m best of 43.81 seconds when winning the 1992 US Olympic trials, moved him to second on the world all-time list and still ranks him tenth on the world all-time list.

In the Olympic Games at Seoul, Reynolds was the clear favourite to win the gold medal, and few people took Lewis' chances seriously, but in the Olympic final Lewis set a fast pace in the early stages while Reynolds held back. Although Reynolds closed near the finish, Lewis held on to win in 43.87, still the United States, North American and World junior record. Steve won a second gold medal three days later, as a member of the victorious USA 4 × 400 m relay team which equalled the world record of 2:56.16 that had stood since the 1968 Olympics.

Seoul Special City in Seoul Capital Area, South Korea

Seoul, officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area, home to roughly half of the country's population. Seoul is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world and is larger than London and Paris.

Relay race team sport in athletics, swimming, etc

A relay race is a racing competition where members of a team take turns completing parts of racecourse or performing a certain action. Relay races take the form of professional races and amateur games. Relay races are common in running, orienteering, swimming, cross-country skiing, biathlon, or ice skating. In the Olympic Games, there are several types of relay races that are part of track and field.

World record

A world record is usually the best global performance ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill or sport. The book Guinness World Records collates and publishes notable records of all types, from first and best to worst human achievements, to extremes in the natural world and beyond.

By the end of 1988, Lewis had run what still rank as 7 of the top ten junior 400 metre races of all time. [2]

In 1990, he won NCAA Championships in the 400 m and went on to win the US Track and Field Championships in the same event.

National Collegiate Athletic Association Non-profit organization that regulates many American college athletes and programs

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

The USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships is an annual track and field competition organized by USA Track & Field, which serves as the American national championships for the sport. Since 1992, in years which feature a Summer Olympics, World Championships in Athletics or a IAAF Continental Cup, the championships serve as a way of selecting the best athletes for those competitions.

In 1992, Lewis, once again, competed at the Olympic Games in Barcelona and won a silver medal in the 400 m and a gold medal in the 4 × 400 m relay, which broke the world record (2:55.74) that Lewis had previously helped tie in the 1988 Olympic Games.

The rest of Lewis' career was affected by injury and an ongoing viral illness, and he never again competed at a major international championships.

Lewis was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

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Preceded by
Flag of the United States.svg Darrell Robinson
Men's World Junior Record Holder, 400 metres
22 May 1988 – present