Legendary American athlete Carl Lewis will be visiting India as an event ambassador of the TCS World 10K Bangalore 2014. The event will be flagged off from Bangalore's Sree Kanteerava Stadium on May 18.
Other luminaries who have been event ambassadors in the past include Linford Christie, Donovan Bailey, Haile Gebrselassie, Michael Johnson, Mike Powell, Kapil Dev and Vijay Amritraj among others.
Lewis competed in four Olympic Games. He won nine gold medals, including four at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Lewis won gold in the 100m final with a world record. In the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Lewis jumped 8.67 m in the first round of the long jump. In the 4 x 100 m relay, Lewis anchored another world record, in 37.40 seconds, a time, which stood for 16 years. In 1996 at Atlanta, Lewis qualified for the US Olympic team a record fifth time in the long jump. He won gold and became one of only three Olympians to win the same individual event four times.
"It gives me great joy to come to India, a country I love and respect, to spread the magic of running and sport amongst the beautiful populace. In the last decade or so, India has witnessed a running revolution and the sport has grown manifold in terms of strength, popularity and interest generated," said Lewis about visiting India.
"The TCS World 10K is an ideal blend of speed and endurance and I'm sure the run will attract many of the best in the world. It's an honour for me to be associated with the event and witness, in action, these running enthusiasts. I hope my presence will only inspire and encourage them to reach greater heights of performance and success", said the legendary Olympian, who retired in 1996.
Interestingly, in July last year, Lewis had called up Milkha Singh after watching his biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Lewis had seen Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and was deeply moved by the film.
A member of the film's crew reportedly said: "Carl Lewis saw the film in the US. Though they are both superstars in their own countries, Carl and Milkha Singh had never spoken before. Carl somehow got hold of Milkhaji's Chandigarh number. The call was completely unexpected. Milkhaji was deeply moved by this unexpected gesture of appreciation from a fellow-athlete from so far away."