HomeSportsCarl Lewis Speaks Out After Tragic Death of Godson and Former NCAA Track Champ Cameron Burrell

Carl Lewis Speaks Out After Tragic Death of Godson and Former NCAA Track Champ Cameron Burrell

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Bob Martin/Getty Images)

Olympic legend Carl Lewis is mourning the death of his godson, former NCAA track champion Cameron Burrell.

According to, the 26-year-old Burrell took his life on Aug. 9. Police found Burrell’s body in a Houston parking garage with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lewis addressed the tragic death with a post on Monday, August 16.

“This past week has been very difficult for me,” Lewis said. “I start tomorrow with an added purpose. Thank you for the love and support. It’s time to finish the mission. KMB.”

Cameron’s aunt and former Top Chef competitor, Dawn Burrell, also took to social media to tribute her nephew.

“I have no children,” Dawn Burrell said. “My nieces and nephews are it. I love them like they are mine. I guess this post serves as a cry for help right now because, for the first time, my battle is too much to bear. Right now, my heart is broken into a million pieces.”

In addition to Lewis, Cameron’s family was one of the most successful track and field groups in the United States. His parents, LeRoy and Michele Finn-Burrell, and aunt, Dawn Burrell, are Olympians.

Carl Lewis, 60, won nine gold medals and one silver medal at four different Olympics. He retired in 1997.

Lewis’ Godson Was A Great Athlete

Burrell was a standout at the University of Houston from 2013 to 2018. He matched his father’s 28-year-old NCAA individual national championship in the 100-meter race back in 2018.

Also, in 2018, he was the anchor on the Cougar’s NCAA national championship defense. Houston went on to win the 4×100-meter relay in the team competition that year. 

Lewis Reacted To U.S. Olympian Disaster

Carl Lewis was part of the outrage in the recent American effort during the 4×100 relays at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Guardian reported that the former Olympian was not pleased with the team’s sixth-place showing. In an interview with USA Today, he called the showing a “clown show.”

“The USA team did everything wrong in the men’s relay,” Lewis wrote on Twitter. 

Carl Lewis took issue with the passing system, athletes running the wrong legs, and lack of leadership. He called the team a “total embarrassment,” and it was “completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw.”

“This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared,” Lewis told USA Today.

According to The Guardian, it has been 20 years since the American men won the 4×100 relay. The team won a silver medal in 2012 but gave their medals back because of a doping ban against Tyson Gay.