I wonder if anyone caught the Carl Lewis documentary on FoxSports Net Sunday night. It was the most indepth documentary I’ve seen of Lewis - much better than the ESPN “100 Greatest Athletes.”
In addition to his various Olympic exploits, they discussed Lewis’s greatest meet - the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, where Lewis ran a 9.86 WR and jumped 29 feet three times in the long jump. I remember reading somewhere (can’t remember where) that Lewis’s average jump that day was further than his personal best going in. Unfortunately for Lewis, that was the day that Powell jumped out of his mind and broke Beamon’s world record.
The documentary mentioned Lewis’s WR, and then dicsussed Powell beating Lewis without mentioning Lewis’s unbelievable jumps that day, which is really an incomplete story of that remarkable performance. Lewis had absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
Ben Johnson was actually interviewed personally for the show, which is unusual. Of course the two exchanged barbs. The documentary, not surprisingly, was editorially slanted towards Lewis.
It also talked about Lewis as a trailblazer for gaining proper pay for his running, and ridding track of the hypocrisy of “amateurism.” This, except for his on-track performances, is doubtless his greatest legacy. I don’t think that the new generation of athletes really appreciate how important Lewis was in this regard, and how much they owe him for the healthy appearance fees they receive today.
It went heavily into Lewis’s post-career work. Apparently he had a long bought with depression and some unhealthy partying that culminated in a DUI a couple of years ago. He claims to have pulled out of that and is now focused on his acting career.
All in all, a decent documentary. Without a doubt it will be replayed.