Nine-time gold medalist Carl Lewis offered his endorsement to Tokyo’s 2020 bid when he visited the site Monday where he had the “race of my life.”
Lewis was in town working with young athletes who were victims of the 2011 earthquake and Tsunami, along with former triple jump world record holder Willie Banks and current long jump world record holder Mike Powell, whose 8.95 meters mark has stood for twenty-two years.
“I wish them the best of luck because I think they will put on a tremendous games,” Lewis told the Associated Press. “I will be at the 2020 Games wherever it is, and I hope it’s here.”
Lewis believes that Japan’s distinction as a country of technology and innovation is what sets them apart from fellow 2020 bidders Madrid and Istanbul.
“I’m all for progress,” he said. “I believe in high-technology. I believe in state-of-the art new stadiums for people. It makes it more comfortable and leads to improved performances by the athletes.
“Japan has always been a very high-tech community and I think it will be a showcase for a stadium probably more high-tech than any stadium that’s ever been made. I think it will be a great place to be.”
Of course, Lewis admitted he held a bias toward Tokyo because it was where he reclaimed the 100m world record from compatriot Leroy Burrell, running 9.86 seconds at the 1991 world championships.
Coincidentally, Mike Powell broke his record at the same meet:
“Japan has always had a special place in my heart. Breaking the world record here changed my life.”