Track Legend Carl Lewis Slams Team USA’s Olympic Performance In Men’s Relay: It Was A Total Embarrassment, Worse Than The AAU Kids I Saw
He took to Twitter to air out his grievances and called out the performance, which placed sixth in the event and disqualified the team for the finals.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 5, 2021
Carl Lewis, who has won nine gold medals in four Olympic Games, tweeted Wednesday night (Aug. 4),
“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay. The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw.”
He also pinned the tweet.
Carl Lewis, 60, went on to share his thoughts with USA TODAY Sports and said,
“This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared.”
“It’s unacceptable. It’s so disheartening to see this because it’s people’s lives. We’re just playing games with people’s lives. That’s why I’m so upset. It’s totally avoidable. And America is sitting there rooting for the United States and then they have this clown show. I can’t take it anymore. It’s just unacceptable. It is not hard to do the relay.”
Lewis now serves as the assistant track coach for his alma mater, the University of Houston, and has recently connected to U.S. relays as some of his athletes have taken part.
“In track and field, the individualized part of it, every agent is down there, every person is down there talking (to the coaches), they want their guys to run, they’re all saying we’ve got to run six guys so they can all get a medal. The last thing they’re thinking about is coming across the line for the United States. It’s back to the same thing, selfish.”
He went on to call out Ronnie Baker, who ran the 200-300 meter portion of the race.
“I’ve never seen Ronnie Baker run a turn in my life. Go back and watch the third leg, look at him, he looks like he’s running on ice because he’s never run a turn. He doesn’t run the (individual) 200, so why is he running a turn when he never runs a turn?”
“We’ve been talking about this forever. The relay program has been a disaster for years because there’s no leadership and no system. When I said everything is wrong, it is. If you break it down, people were in the wrong legs, obviously they were not taught how to pass the baton in those legs. Just simple things like that. I watched it. I’m not blaming the athletes so much. This was leadership.”
While he laughed off the question of whether he wanted to run the Olympic track program for Team USA, he certainly did laugh at their performance. He concluded with,
“I’m so frustrated because I’m so passionate about those three letters, USA. That’s why. I love my country. I love winning. That’s what gets me. How can we let the United States down so much in an unacceptable way like that?”
What are your thoughts on what Carl Lewis had to say? Comment and let us know.