When young Frederick Carlton Lewis was encouraged to pursue music lessons rather than going into sports, he went out into his back yard, measured off twenty-nine feet, two-and-a-half inches, and stuck a strip of tape on the ground. The distance was one that even the world's best athletes could not meet but he began jumping toward it with determination.
What followed his first backyard jump made global sporting history. Five Olympic appearances after, ten Olympic medals -nine of which are gold, ten World Championships and a series of world records set in several field categories, the top sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis proved to know how important is to believe in oneself. The sum of his nearly two-decade athletic career earned him an array of accolades and nicknames such as “Olympian of the century”, “King Carl”, "Sportsman of the Century" and “the Son of the Wind” which speak for themselves on the matter of why Carl is one of the most world renowned athletes of all times. He retired from active competition in 1997.
Today, he uses his fame to encourage others not to give up, and to always do their best. He works tirelessly through the Carl Lewis Foundation to empower youth, adults and families through track and field activities, and to enhance their life condition through personnel health and education. In 2009, Carl was nominated Goodwill Ambassador for FAO and YUNGA. In this capacity, Carl has supported both the Run for Food race and the 1billionhungry project, the International Year of Forests, the World Humanitarian Day 2011, the Race Against Hunger and recently, the Horn of Africa fundraising campaign. Carl is actively taking part in an online social media (Twitter and Facebook) campaign to raise awareness about the Millennium Development Goals.
Lewis inspires Britain's Greg Rutherford to Olympic glory
Carl at the Running Rocks Youth Assembly to help audience think about how to inspire young runners(2012)
Carl Lewis discusses the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population (Al Jazeera, 2011)
Carl sprints again for Haiti forests (2011)
Carl Lewis using Olympic fame to fight hunger (2010)
Carl push for action on the Millennium Development Goals (2010)
Carl for the Horn of Africa SMS campaign
Carl Lewis together with Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Anggun support the International Year of Forests (2011)
Carl Lewis in Rome with FAO (RAI television, October 2011)
Carl Lewis and FAO
Carl blows the whistle against hunger (2010)
Interview with FAO Goodwill Ambassador Carl Lewis (2010)
Carl at the1988 Indianapolis (USA) trials - men 100m – the historic 9.78s record
FAO Goodwill Ambassadors 2010-2011
Carl during the Team USA Road to London 100 Days Out Celebration in Times Square (New York, April 2012)
Carl Lewis starting off the World Food Day - 6th Edition Run for Food Race (Rome, October 2011)
Carl visits Haiti (2011)
Carl with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Carl Lewis attend the FAO Ambassadors Red Carpet during Day 2 of the 4th International Rome Film Festival (Rome, 2009).