The American men who had won the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 relay at world championships before this year are known to track fans: Tyson Gay and Maurice Greene. But some of the American men who have gone 3 for 3 in those races at the Olympics are known far beyond the shadow of any track stadium – think, Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.
The gap between “track star” and “global icon” is one Noah Lyles is hoping he can bridge between now and the Paris Olympics. Lyles capped off his historic world championships by anchoring the men’s 4x100 relay team to victory to capture his third gold medal in the sprints. It's an accomplishment last completed at worlds by the sport's last superstar, Usain Bolt, eight years ago.