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In response to a question about his skipping a 1982 long jump competition at altitude, he said, "I want the record and I plan to get it, but not at altitude.

Lewis qualified for the American team for the 1980 Olympics in the long jump and as a member of the 4 × 100 m relay team.Before Lewis, 28 ft 0 in (8.53 m) had been exceeded on two occasions by two people: Beamon and 1980 Olympic champion Lutz Dombrowski.During 1982, Lewis cleared 28 ft 0 in (8.53 m) five times outdoors, twice more indoors, going as far as 8.7 m (28 ft 6​ in) at Indianapolis, he had three fouls with his toe barely over the board, two of which seemed to exceed Beamon's record, the third which several observers said reached 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m).He set world records in the 100 m, 4 × 100 m and 4 × 200 m relays, while his world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984.His 65 consecutive victories in the long jump achieved over a span of 10 years is one of the sport's longest undefeated streaks.Additionally, he was named Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News.

From 1981 until 1992, Lewis topped the 100 m ranking six times (seven if Ben Johnson's 1987 top ranking is ignored), and ranked no lower than third.

At age 13, Lewis began competing in the long jump, and he emerged as a promising athlete while coached by Andy Dudek and Paul Minore at Willingboro High School in his hometown of Willingboro Township, New Jersey.

Many colleges tried to recruit Lewis, and he chose to enroll at the University of Houston where Tom Tellez was coach.

In 2011, he attempted to run for a seat as a Democrat in the New Jersey Senate, but was removed from the ballot due to the state's residency requirement. G., which markets and brands products and services including his own.

Lewis owns a marketing and branding company named C. Frederick Carlton Lewis was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 1, 1961, the son of William and Evelyn Lewis. His mother (née Lawler) was a hurdler on the 1951 Pan-Am team.

His relatively modest best from 1979 (10.67 s) improved to a world-class 10.21 the next year.