Carl Lewis: Social media can’t replace hard work and sacrifice

American track and field legend Carl Lewis believes that the secret to his tremendous success is the numerous sacrifices he had to make en route to winning as many as nine Olympic gold medals.

Importance of basics

“The greatest thing about sport is that the basics will never change. It is hard work, dedication and sacrifice. And that sacrifice is practising day in and day out. Maybe, you can’t go to places…[or be in] relationships. Everyone that has success has the same message—hard work, focus, dedication and sacrifice. We want to tell the young people that hey it works. Everybody told me that and now I am telling them that,” Lewis told Sahu Newson the sidelines of the Indian sports Honours at a Juhu hotel on Thursday.   
Lewis, 61, who also won an Olympic silver and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold medals between 1979 and 1996, always wanted to be rich and famous. And he knew that he wouldn’t be able to achieve that without hard work and dedication.

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“I wanted to jump 8.90m and  run a World record in the 100m. I wanted to be very rich and famous. So every day at practice, I had those four things in mind. But I knew that [being] rich and famous won’t happen without hard work and dedication. Now, we are in an era of social media. A lot of young people think that it replaces a lot of the work. It doesn’t. You still have to speak well. You must have a good story and you have to work hard,” added Lewis, a winner of four long jump golds at the Olympics. 

‘Long jump, the toughest’

He however, felt that today’s athletes don’t take long jump seriously. “The long jump is inconsistent everywhere. I have expressed my frustration with it and wish more people would reach out. It’s an extremely difficult event. It’s the most difficult event in all track and field events. But people don’t look at it that way and therefore don’t give it the time and respect it needs. That’s why, there is inconsistency. This may not just be the case with the Indian guys, it’s everywhere in the world,” he signed off.

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