Michael Johnson, USA
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
"What I did was each year I had a goal. You know, ultimately, I did achieve a lot more than I first set out to do but I took some really small steps along the way. When you want to be ranked number 1 in the world, when you want to be Olympic gold medallist and you want to make history you're really careful setting your goals along the way. You take small steps instead of having a goal that's so far out that it starts to seem unachievable."
Johnson ran for Baylor from 1987 through 1990 and still holds or is part of school records in six events.
In 1988 Johnson trailed home seventh in the 400m at the American Olympic trials and a year later he was second in the American Indoor Championships. Little did his competitors realise that they would have to wait eight years before he was beaten again over one lap.
In 1989 Johnson blistered an
American and collegiate indoor record time of 20.59 to win the NCAA 200m title.
Outdoors that year, Johnson established school records in the 100m and 200m and
also ran a leg on BU's 4x400m relay which ran 3:00.66, the second-fastest
collegiate time then.
Johnson won the TAC indoor 400 and outdoor 200, both NCAA 200s and anchored NCAA-winning 4x400-meter relays indoors and outdoors.
Johnson was track and field's athlete of the year in 1990 after being ranked No. 1 in the world at 200 and 400 metres.
He won the TAC indoor 400m and outdoor 200m.
Johnson won the World Championships 200 metres by the largest margin of victory since the legendary Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics in a championship record time.
Johnson won the US Olympic Trials with a trials record in the 200 metres.
An untimely illness
prevented him from getting a medal in the 200 metres at the Barcelona Olympics,
but he did manage to recover enough to win a gold medal running on the USA
4x400-meter relay team, which set a world record in the process.
In 1993, Johnson won the USA 400m title in Eugene.
He followed that by winning the 400m gold medal at the World Championships. He also anchored the USA 4x400-metre relay to a new world record, running the best-ever split for 400 metres of 42.94. No one else has ever run under 43 seconds.
Johnson won all of his 400m races in 1994, including gold at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July.
He was presented with the prestigious Jesse Owens Award, along with being ranked No. 1 in the world for the third time in his career in the 200m and 400m. He became only the second athlete to win the Jesse Owens Award twice.
Johnson continued his incredible winning streak as he blazed through the 1995 indoor season, winning his 40th race in a row in the 400m, breaking his previous world record - only three weeks old - with a time of 44.63.
As the 1995 outdoor season began, Johnson continued to be victorious in his 200m and 400m competitions.
At the U.S. National Championships in Sacramento, Calif., he won all six of his races (preliminaries and finals), becoming the first athlete in history to win both the 200 and 400-meter national championship titles. Johnson was the first person ever to run sub-20 seconds for the 200m and sub-44 seconds for the 400m in the same meet.
Johnson won all of his races leading up to the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August. During the championships, Johnson performed another historic feat - running nine races over nine days and leaving Sweden as the first man ever to attain world championship titles at both 200 meters and 400 meters in the same meet.
Wrapping up the end of the outdoor season, Johnson continued his streak - with 50 consecutive victories at 400 meters and his second Golden Four Championship title.
After convincing the IAAF to alter the Olympic schedule to accommodate his unprecedented 200-400 double, Johnson prepared to double up. His 400m win came in an Olympic record time of 43.49, but that was just a hint of what was to come.
In one of the most highly anticipated events on the Atlanta schedule, Johnson stamped his authority not just on the race, but on the event, claiming a gold medal in the 200m and lowering of his own world record from 19.66 to 19.32.
Johnson left Atlanta acclaimed as "The World's Fastest Human."
After missing the USA Nationals due to injury, he successfully defended his 400-meter title at the World Championships in Athens, Greece.
In 1998, Johnson again earned a No. 1 ranking in the 400 metres with the fastest time in the world. He also anchored the 4x400 meter relay team that set a world record at the Goodwill Games in New York.
Johnson finally captured the 400 meter world record he had been chasing for a decade. At the World Championships in Seville, Spain, Johnson not only set a world record time of 43.18, but also raced to a margin of victory that was one of the longest in track history. His two 1999 World Championship gold medals moved his total to nine and allowed Johnson to pass Carl Lewis as the most prolific runner in World Championship history.
"It's been a long time
in coming," Johnson
said. "This was the
He ran a 43.68 400m in the finals of the US Olympic Trials, his 21st time for running a sub 44 in the 400m. Cramp caused him to hobble out of the 200m.
Johnson ended his career at the Sydney 2000 Olympics by winning the 400m gold and 4 x 400m relay race, bringing his total number of Olympic gold medals to five.
Johnson ran 22 400-meter races under 44 seconds. In the 200m, he has six times under 19.80 s and 17 sub-20 second performances. He also holds the world record at 300m — 30.85 s. The former record was 31.48 s.