|Intro||American hurdler and sprinter|
|Is|| Runner |
|From||United States of America|
|Birth|| 18 October 1929 |
Evelyn Lawler (born October 18, 1929) is a retired American track and field athlete. She competed for the United States in the 80 metres hurdles at the 1951 Pan American Games, finishing 6th. She is perhaps better known as the mother of (9 time) multiple Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis and Olympian, World Championship bronze medalist and sports announcer Carol Lewis.
Lawler graduated from Tuskegee University. At one point in time she held the American record in the 80 metres hurdles.
Lawler started in the sport as a sophomore in high school when her school picked 6 or 7 girls for a start up track team. Lawler was not selected but watched them practice. When it came time to compete, she asked if she could try and beat all the other girls on the team. When her school competed at a meet at Tuskegee, the coach Major Cleveland L. Abbott invited her to come to the University.
She started hurdling when the previous hurdlers including (1948 Olympian) Theresa Manuel had graduated and the coach told her she was the next hurdler. Her trip to the Pan Am games in Buenos Aires, Argentina was her first out of the country, the first time on a plane and first national team. By 1952, she had risen to one of the best three hurdlers in the world, but injuries prevented her from qualifying for the Olympics.
She continued to participate in Masters athletics but eventually retired from the sport because she kept getting injured.
“My mind did not connect with my body. I was competing a lot harder than I should have . . . but I did win nine gold medals while I was competing in masters. I was able to tell my son I have nine gold medals also.”
Her eldest son, Cleveland Lewis, was named after her collegiate coach. She is the mother of Carl Lewis and Carol Lewis.