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LONDON – Spectators at the Olympic fencing and BMX competitions will get an unexpected surprise next week when Games legend Carl Lewis turns up to watch the medal rounds.
The nine-time gold medalist has arrived in London to undertake some media commitments but revealed he has started an ongoing mission to witness every single Olympic sport.
Lewis has now attended each of the four Games since he retired and is slowly working toward his goal of completing the set of Olympic viewing experiences.
This time around he has chosen BMX and fencing as his sports of choice and has arranged tickets for key sessions at the Olympic Park BMX Track and the ExCel Arena in London.
"What I love about the Olympics is all the different sports," said Lewis. "Every single time I come to the Olympics I pick two new sports, and this year it is BMX and fencing. I don't get to the track very much because I am trying to do every other sport.
"When I was competing I couldn't go to any other sport," he continued. "This is the first time I can see every other sport and I so respect these athletes from sports that we don't see often. I love the backstories. We think in our sport, 'This person is a great champion, they swam, they ran,' but they have those stories in other sports, too."
Lewis said to the BBC that London is already shaping up as one of his favorite Olympics, mainly because of the way the event has energized the sometimes-staid capital of the United Kingdom.
"It is a fantastic Games here," Lewis said. "I love the Olympics because everything stops and everyone wants to be a part of it. The bottom line here is the energy of the people, everyone is smiling. It is great.”
The typically unpredictable London weather kicked in again on Sunday, with some untimely rain showers affecting several events in the middle of the afternoon before things improved in the evening.
Lewis insists that the expected chilly weather could have a significant effect on the Games' premier event, the men's 100-meter final on the track, which kicks off Aug. 4.
"Look how cool it is tonight," he said. "That changes the dynamic a little bit. There will be an interesting race and some surprises."
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