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43 Facts about Michael Johnson – The American Sprinter

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Michael Johnson, considered as one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field, is currently the holder of the world as well as Olympic record in the in the 400 m and the world record of best time at the 300 m.

Retired US sprinter Michael Johnson attends the Doha Goals summit (Gathering of all Leaders in Sport) in the Qatari capital on December 11, 2013. Sports ministers from all over the world have converged on the Gulf emirate for the closed-door forum sponsored by the Emir of Qatar, which opened on December 10, 2013, bringing together investors, lobbyists and sports personalities.
(Photo : KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images) Retired US sprinter Michael Johnson attends the Doha Goals summit (Gathering of all Leaders in Sport) in the Qatari capital on December 11, 2013. Sports ministers from all over the world have converged on the Gulf emirate for the closed-door forum sponsored by the Emir of Qatar, which opened on December 10, 2013, bringing together investors, lobbyists and sports personalities.
  1. Johnson is an unconventional runner with very short step and stiff upright running stance.
  2. As a child his friends laughed at him running funny and as adult reporters compared him to running duck. It was funny to him too but he was winning.
  3. Johnson was born on September 13, 1967 in Dallas, Texas. He attended Skyline High School and graduated from Baylor University with bachelor’s degree in business.
  4. He was the youngest of five children to Paul Johnson Sr. and Ruby Johnson. His father was truck driver and his mother an elementary school teacher.
  5. Johnson as junior was good at football and in track events. He quit football because he didn’t like someone screaming at him.
  6. Johnson now resides in Mill Valley, California with his wife Armine Shamiryan and fourteen year old son Sebastian.
    Michael Johnson of the USA celebrates gold in the Mens 400m Final at the Olympic Stadium on Day Ten of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
    (Photo : Al Bello /Allsport) Michael Johnson of the USA celebrates gold in the Mens 400m Final at the Olympic Stadium on Day Ten of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
  7. On April 18, 2015 Baylor University hosted ‘Michael Johnson Classic ‘at Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium.
  8. He is the only sprinter to ranked number 1 in the world in 200 and 400 meters in the same year. He achieved this four times in his career in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995.
  9. Johnson first competed in track events at Atwell Junior High School, Dallas for sheer fun. He wanted to impress college coaches to get scholarship.
  10. Johnson is considered as one of the greatest sprinter of track and field, who performs under pressure. He is fondly called as ‘The Man with the Golden Shoes.’
  11. As junior Johnson was coached by Clyde Hart. From 1987 running for Baylor he set or is part of school record in six events.
  12. In 1989 running in the ‘National Collegiate Athletic Association Meet,’ Johnson set an indoor record of 20.59 in the 200 meters.
    Michael Johnson of the United States celebrates after winning the men's 400 metres event during the World Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, circa August 1995.
    (Photo : Professional Sport/Popperfoto/Getty Images) Michael Johnson of the United States celebrates after winning the men's 400 metres event during the World Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, circa August 1995.
  13. In the outdoor event in 1989, Johnson set a record in the 200 meter with a time of 20.41 in his first meet. He also set a fast pace of 43.5 in the 4X400 meter relay.
  14. In 1990 Johnson had the credentials of being the No 1 in 200 and 400 meters in the world apart from anchoring several winning relay teams.
  15. In 1991 Johnson won his first world title in the 200 meter race at ‘World Championship’ in Tokyo. He beat Frankie Fredericks by 0.33 of a second.
  16. Before the’1992 Barcelona Olympic’ after a warm-up meet at Salamanaca, Spain, Johnson along with his agent was ill with food poisoning. This resulted in weight loss had sapped his strength and he was eliminated in the semi finals of 200 meters. He was the favorite to win the race.
  17. Johnson won his first gold medal in the Olympic, when he was the part of 4X 400 which set a new world record time of 2:55.74. Johnson timed his leg of the race at 44.73 sec.
  18. In the 19993 World Championship held at Stuttgart, Germany Johnson anchored the USA 4X400 relay team to world record time of 2:54.29. He ran his leg in a time of 42.91 seconds, which is considered as the fastest 400 meters in the history.
    Laureus World Sports Academy Members Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), American sprint star Michael Johnson and five times Olympic Golf Medal rower Sir Steve Redgrave teamed up today to launch a new partnership between the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Track Academy at Willesden Sports Centre on May 23, 2011 in London, England. Connie Henry, who won a Commonwealth Games Bronze medal in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, founded Track Academy in 2007.
    (Photo : Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for Laureus) Laureus World Sports Academy Members Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), American sprint star Michael Johnson and five times Olympic Golf Medal rower Sir Steve Redgrave teamed up today to launch a new partnership between the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Track Academy at Willesden Sports Centre on May 23, 2011 in London, England. Connie Henry, who won a Commonwealth Games Bronze medal in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, founded Track Academy in 2007.
  19. Johnson won his second world championship 400 meters title in 1993 at Germany with the time of 43.65 seconds. A championship record.
  20. At the 1995 World Championship, Gothenburg, Sweden, Johnson won gold in the 200, 400 and the 4X400 meters. He became the first athlete to win the 200 and 400 in a major championship.
  21. Johnson’s time of 19.66 seconds in the 200 meters at the 1996 U.S Olympic trials, he broke the record of Pietro Mennea’s which stood for 17 years.
  22. In the final of 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Johnson used customized Golden colored ‘Nike’ racing spikes made with ‘Zytel.’ His left foot is shorter than right foot.
  23. When Johnson won the 200 meters with a record of time of 19.32 seconds in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he eclipsed three tenths of the previous record. The largest improvement ever in the 200 meters world record.
  24. Johnson was awarded the ‘James E .Sullivan Award’ as an amateur athlete for 1996. He was also awarded the ‘ABC’s Wild World of Sports’ athlete of the Year.
  25. In August 1996 with the help of ‘Harper Collins’ he published his autobiographical and motivational book, ‘Slaying the Dragon.’
  26. Johnson’s exploits in the 200 meters at Atlanta Olympics, led the ‘Nike’ TV Commercial to project him as the ‘World Fastest Man.’
  27. In June 1997, Johnson competed with Donovan Bailey in a 150 meter at the Sky Dome, Toronto to determine the world fastest man. Johnson did not complete the race and Bailey went on to win.
  28. In the 1997 IAAF World Championship a new policy was introduced of giving defending champions bye. This is primarily to allow Johnson to compete as he did not participate in the US Trials to qualify due to his injuries.
  29. Johnson was troubled by injuries in 1999 season. By virtue of being the reigning champion he participated in the ‘World Championship’ skipping the trials and won gold medal in the 400 meters with a record time of 43.18 seconds.
  30. Johnson won the 2000 Sydney Olympics 400 meters gold to become the oldest athlete to win medals at shorter distances. He was 33 years 12 days old.
    Retired American sprinter Michael Johnson poses with his wife on the red carpet for Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony at the Grand Theater on April 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China.
    (Photo : Feature China / Barcroft Media via Getty Images) Retired American sprinter Michael Johnson poses with his wife on the red carpet for Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony at the Grand Theater on April 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China.
  31. Johnson won gold medal in the 4X400 meters relay in the Sydney Olympics. Later the USA team was stripped of the medals after member of his team were found to have used performance enhancing drugs.
  32. Johnson has established a record of 13 Olympic and World Championship gold medals during his 11 years career.
  33. Johnson had finished his career with 19 international gold medals, without single silver or bronze medals.
  34. In 1997 Johnson began as a motivational speaker and has excelled as a keynote speaker working with such company as Microsoft, UBS Bank, Sony and Procter & Gamble.
  35. Johnson holds nine of the top fifty 200 meters and twenty two of the top fifty 400 meters performance of all time during his career.
    Michael Johnson of the United States (right) en route to winning the gold medal in the men's 200 metres event during the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, circa 1996.
    (Photo : Professional Sport/Popperfoto/Getty Images) Michael Johnson of the United States (right) en route to winning the gold medal in the men's 200 metres event during the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, circa 1996.
  36. Johnson was inducted in to ‘United States Track and Field Hall of Fame’ in 2004. His performance in the Atlanta Olympic is considered as greatest movement of last 25 years.
  37. Johnson was part of BBC’s 2012 London Olympics presenting team. He works as television commentator and writes columns for Daily Telegraph.
  38. Johnson has opened ‘Michael Johnson Performance’ centre at Mckinney, Texas for athletic development programs designed specifically for young athletes.
  39. As a prelude to 2012 summer Olympics, Johnson made a documentary ‘Survival of the Fastest,’ which investigated in to dominance of Afro-American sprinters. It suggested that slave trade accelerated the theory ‘Natural Selection.’
  40. After splitting up with his first wife Kery D’Oyen, he married Armine Shamiryan, a chef.
  41. Johnson has been recruited by Arsenal F.C to improve the speed and strength of the youth to be better equipped for first team football.
  42. Johnson was part of Olympic torch relay for the 2012 London Olympics. He took the torch on a dawn visit to Stonehenge 55 days before torch relay.
  43. Johnson is the only man to successfully defend his Olympic 400 meters title. He is tied with Carl Lewis for second most gold medal won.
     Laureus World Sports Academy MemberAmerican sprint star Michael Johnson pictured during the launch of a new partnership between the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Track Academy at Willesden Sports Centre on May 23, 2011 in London, England. Connie Henry, who won a Commonwealth Games Bronze medal in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, founded Track Academy in 2007.
    (Photo : Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for Laureus) Laureus World Sports Academy MemberAmerican sprint star Michael Johnson pictured during the launch of a new partnership between the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Track Academy at Willesden Sports Centre on May 23, 2011 in London, England. Connie Henry, who won a Commonwealth Games Bronze medal in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, founded Track Academy in 2007.

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