Michael Johnson: Athletics
Michael Duane Johnson (born September 13, 1967) is a retired American sprinter who won numerous Olympic gold medals and broke world records in the 1990s. When he retired, he successfully established himself as a performance coach and a trainer who works with young Olympic athletes. He is currently a BBC commentator and he offers his expert views on various athletics coverage. Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time and considered to be one of the greatest sprinters in the history of track and field.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Michael Johnson currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400 m, formerly holding the world and Olympic record in the 200 m and the world record in the indoor 400 m. Johnson is the only male athlete to win both the 200 meter dash and 400 meter dash events at the same Olympics during the 1996 Summer Olympics. He also set Olympic marks in both events.
In 2004, he was inducted into the US Track and Field Hall of Fame and was the torch bearer in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics.
Why Was He So Good?
Johnson’s statuesque running style – upright back, low knee-lift and composed face – defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed. His style of running was very unlike other trackmen. He had the ability to perform under pressure. Johnson had intense focus which led to his success.
What You May Not Know
- In high school, Michael Johnson broke his school’s record for the 200 meter run and the 4x400 meter relay. Johnson attended the Skyline High School in Pleasant Grove, Dallas.
- He applied to enter the Summer Olympics in 1988 but was not able to participate because of a stress fracture.
- During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Johnson won the 4x400 m relay Olympic gold medal but voluntarily returned the medal because he felt it was not a fair win due to his team mates who ran the race with him took performance enhancing drugs.
Was he a legend?
Do you agree with Michael Johnson being a legend of athletics?
How would you rate their greatness? (from 'good' to 'the best')