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Michael Johnson Biography

Born In Dallas, Runs Track For Baylor, Waylaid By Illness In 1992, Wins Both Events At AtlantaSELECTED WRITINGS BY JOHNSON:


American track and field athlete

The first man ever to win both 200-meter and 400-meter dashes at the same world championship, Michael Johnson is considered by many the greatest combined 200/400 sprinter who ever lived. One of the most colorful competitors at the Summer Olympic Games of 1992, 1996, and 2000, Johnson captured a total of five gold medals in Olympic competition, as well as nine gold medals at International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world championships. Before he retired from competition in September 2001, Johnson had been ranked number one in the 400-meter ten times and number one in the 200-meter five times by Track & Field News. In announcing his retirement after the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia, Johnson told reporters: "I will miss the sport because it's been such a big part of my life. I am a little sad that this year is going to end because I have had a great time. But I'm looking forward to retirement."


(With Jess Walter) Slaying the Dragon: How to Turn Your Small Steps to Great Feats, HarperCollins, 1996.

Sketch by Don Amerman

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTrack and Field