Carl Lewis will be "Goin' For The Gold" - four times - once again.
He did it in 1984, when he became only the third track and field athlete to win four golds in the same Olympic Games, matching the accomplishments of Alvin Kranzlein in 1900 and Jesse Owens in 1936. Lewis did it after recording the song, "Goin' For The Gold."Doubt had been cast last week whether Lewis would get the opportunity to repeat his 1984 accomplishments because of a dispute with relay coach Russ Rogers.
Rogers, recently appointed head coach at Ohio State after spending eight years at Fairleigh Dickinson, angered Lewis and his Santa Monica Track Club teammate Joe DeLoach when he barred them from competing on the U.S. 400-meter relay team in a meet at Brussels, Belgium, last Friday.
Rogers said he made the decision because neither sprinter had practiced with the team at its Davos, Switzerland, camp and hadn't proven themselves.
Asked then if he would still run the relay anchor leg in the Olympics after the dispute, Lewis said, "At this point, no. At this point, I am just going to focus on the three individual events," the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the long jump.
"Rogers was acting like a junior high school coach," Lewis said, adding that his personal coach, Tom Tellez, told him "not to focus on the relay anymore."
Later, Rogers relented somewhat, saying, "No person in his right mind is going to kick Carl off the team."
"Carl and Joe ... have created a bad situation," Rogers added. "Once they come to training camp, it's a different situation. Just because Carl Lewis tells me, `I want to run in the relay and I want Joe to run as well,' am I to drop two guys who have been working for me the last four weeks?
"No athlete is bigger than any team. You cannot have a situation where an athlete is telling a coach what to do. That is not in the best interests of the team."
While Rogers was in Europe, head coach Stan Huntsman was at the team's U.S. training base at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Huntsman had been in Europe through last Wednesday, and when he left he had thought Lewis would be running in the relay at Brussels.
"As far as running on the team, no one will be kicked off unless I do it," Hunstman said last week.