News27 Jun 2024

Athletics legend Lewis stars on Inside Track podcast


Carl Lewis on the World Athletics Inside Track Podcast

The World Athletics Inside Track Podcast welcomes athletics royalty into the studio, with USA’s nine-time Olympic gold medallist and “King of the GOATs” Carl Lewis joining the chat. 

Podcast hosts Sanya Richards-Ross and Kelly Sotherton met up with the sprint and long jump legend at the World Athletics Relays Bahamas 24 to discuss his own career, innovation in the sport and his role as a coach.

Lewis, who claimed five global 4x100m titles during his career, was the World Athletics ambassador for the World Athletics Relays in Nassau last month. He opened the podcast by sharing his thoughts on the format of the competition, where 14 teams in each of the five disciplines being contested in Nassau – the women’s and men’s 4x100m and 4x400m plus the mixed 4x400m – automatically qualified for places at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“I like the format,” he said. “It makes it more compelling because you’re doing relays more specifically for the World Championships and the Olympic Games, and I like the youth involvement. If you can bridge that gap between the young people and the professional athletes, I think it’s a great thing.”

carl lewis


In April, World Athletics announced it will become the first international federation to award prize money at an Olympic Games, rewarding athletes who win a gold medal in each of the 48 athletics events in Paris in August with US$50,000.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea,” said Lewis. “The Olympics has always been, well, ‘be happy to be here and monetise it yourself’.

“What I would love to see by 2028 in Los Angeles is not only are all the medallists getting it (prize money), but it's sponsored. You know, ‘the World Athletics Olympic programme sponsored by XYZ’ and they're paying all of that. I mean, one great thing that a lot of the big professional sports do is that they make money out of everything.”

Asked to reflect on a standout moment from his own career, from the Olympics to World Championships or another competition, Lewis replied: “If you take it that deep, it was in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1978 – my junior year in high school. I jumped 25 feet (7.62m) for the first time, when I was just turned 17. At that moment, I said: ‘I can jump far’. So, I made up my mind to try to break the high school record, which was 8.05m. Then, I broke the high school record – I jumped 8.13m when I was 18. That of course did it. If you go to the Olympic era, you have to say the Tokyo 100m and Atlanta long jump.”

Episodes of the Inside Track Podcast are available via the usual podcast platforms including on Apple PodcastsSpotify and the Sport Social Podcast Network – while fans can also watch the show on the World Athletics website.

With an evolving presenter line-up, the podcast will return later in the year with an all-star cast providing a preview to the events at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Find it all on Inside Track.