By the time the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta rolled around, Carl Lewis was 35 years old. Though he was still admired around the world for his previous Olympic triumphs, he had barely managed to qualify for the U.S. team in the long jump and most experts believed he’d be lucky to medal, let alone win another gold. Going into the last of his three jumps, Lewis trailed Emmanuel Bangué of France and his leading jump of 26’ 10 ½” by two inches. Lewis took off cleanly after a smooth sprint and landed face down, but knowing instinctively that the jump had secured him first place, he quickly got to his feet and raised his arms in triumph. His mark of 27’ 10 ¾” was his longest in two years—a full foot ahead of Bangue—and good enough for his fourth consecutive gold in the long jump.