06 March, 2014

The 30-Foot Jump | Joe Blogs

The 30-Foot Jump | Joe Blogs: That left Lewis with two more jumps to both win the World Championship AND beat both Powell and Beamon. That’s when he unleashed an amazing but futile effort. With the intense pressure on, with the disappointment of seeing his rival do something he had tried to do his whole life, with the ghost of Beamon gone, Carl Lewis TWICE jumped 29 feet. He jumped 29 feet 1 1/8 inches on his penultimate try. And he jumped almost exactly 29 feet on his last try. It was amazing — only two men before that day had jumped 29 feet, both at altitude. Carl Lewis did it THREE CONSECUTIVE times.

But the record was Powell’s.

And the record is Powell’s. Here’s the funny part: Carl Lewis says now that his intention in 1991 was to break the world record and retire from the long jump. He wanted to focus more on his sprinting. But once Powell broke the world record, he felt like he could not retire, no chance, he had to try and get that record. So he kept chasing. He never did get the record. But he did win two more Olympic gold medals in the pursuit. So there was that.