Although an unknown 19-year-old in 1988, Steve Lewis had a spectacular season, completely rewriting the world junior all-time list in the 400 m, and winning an Olympic gold medal. Lewis had been third at the US Olympic Trials, and was not considered a potential medalist before the Olympic 400 m final, with Butch Reynolds heavily favored. In the Olympic final Lewis set an early fast pace, and although Reynolds closed near the finish, Lewis held on to win in 43.87, a time that still stands (as of 2016) as a world junior record. Lewis won a second gold medal three days later, as a member of the victorious US 4x400 m relay team that equaled the world record of 2:56.16 that had stood since the 1968 Olympics. In 1990, Lewis won the NCAA Championships in the 400 m and went on to win the US title in the same event. In 1992, Lewis again competed at the Olympics in Barcelona and won silver in the 400 and gold in the 4×400, which broke the world record (2:55.74) that Lewis had previously helped tie in the 1988 Olympic Games. Lewis was later hampered by injury and an ongoing viral illness, and never again competed internationally.
Personal Best: 400 – 43.87 (1988).