Michael Johnson Biography
Michael Johnson (Michael Duane Johnson) is a retired American sprinter who won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals in the span of his career. He formerly held the world and Olympic records in the 200 m and 400 m, as well as the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also once held the world’s best time in the 300 m. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field.
Johnson is the only male athlete in history to win both the 200 meters and 400 meters events at the same Olympics, a feat he accomplished at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Johnson is also the only man to successfully defend his Olympic title in the 400 m, having done so at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Aside from his Olympic success, Johnson accumulated eight gold medals at the World Championships and is tied with Carl Lewis for the second most gold medals won by a runner (second only to Usain Bolt).
Michael Johnson Age
Johnson was born on 13, 1967, in Dallas, Texas, United States. He is 51 years old as of 2018.
Michael Johnson Net Worth
Johnson has an estimated net worth of $7 million.
Michael Johnston Achievements
Johnson has run 200 m in under 19.80 seconds six times, and he has run the distance in less than 20 seconds twenty-three times. He holds nine of the top 50 200 m performances of all time. Johnson has run twenty-two 400 m races in under 44 seconds; he holds twenty-two of the top 50 and five of the top 10 400 m performances of all time.
Over the course of his career, he twice set the world record in the 200 m, three times set the world record as part of the 4 × 400 m relay team, twice set the indoor 400 m world record, set the outdoor 400 m world record once, and set the 300 m mark once.
Michael Johnson photo
Michael Johnson 1996 Atlanta Olympics
Johnson was 29 when he ran the 200-m in 19.66 seconds at the U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking Pietro Mennea’s record of 19.72 seconds that had stood for nearly 17 years. With that performance he qualified to run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and prepared to attempt to win both the 200 meters and 400 meters events, a feat never before achieved by a male athlete.
Johnson entered the Olympic finals donning a custom-designed pair of golden-colored Nike racing spikes made with Zytel, causing him to be nicknamed “The Man With the Golden Shoes”. Sources differ on the exact weight of these shoes; the manufacturer of the spikes claims they weighed 3 ounces (85 g) each, while other sources state each shoe weighed about 94 grams (3.3 oz).
On July 29, Johnson easily captured the 400 m Olympic title with an Olympic record time of 43.49 seconds, 0.92 seconds ahead of silver medalist Roger Black of Great Britain. At the 200 m final on August 1, Johnson ran the opening 100 meters in 10.12 seconds and finished the race in a world record time of 19.32 seconds, breaking by more than three-tenths of a second the previous record he had set in the U.S.
Olympic Trials, on the same track one month earlier—the largest improvement ever on a 200 m world record. Some commentators compared the performance to Bob Beamon’s record-shattering long jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
During the race, Johnson strained a muscle in his leg, which prevented him from winning his third gold medal of the Olympics in the 4 × 400 m relay as Team USA went on to win the gold even without him.
After the 1996 season ended, Johnson received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in any sport in the United States and was named ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. In August, HarperCollins published his biographical/motivational book, Slaying the Dragon: How to Turn Your Small Steps to Great Feats.
Michael Johnson World’s Fastest Man
Johnson’s time of 19.32s (10.35 m/s) en route to breaking the 200-meter world record at the 1996 Olympics led some in the United States to consider him the fastest man in the world. In 1997 Johnson began appearing in Nike television advertisements in which he was billed as “World’s fastest man” as a result of his 200 m world record.
This was despite the fact that the 100 meters world record holder, at the time Donovan Bailey (Canada), was typically given that unofficial title.
In a much-hyped competition in June 1997, he raced against Bailey in a 150-meter (164 yds) race at the SkyDome in Toronto. The event was unsanctioned, and its unique course consisted of 75 meters of curved track and a 75-meter straight. The race was billed as a competition for the title of “World’s Fastest Man”.
However, Johnson failed to live up to expectations when he pulled up around the 100-meter mark, having injured his hamstring. Bailey won the race and the $1.5 million prize that came with the victory, Johnson received $500,000.
Michael Johnson Sydney Olympics
After qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics in the 400 m, Johnson sustained an injury in the 200 m final while racing in a highly anticipated matchup against the 100 m and 200 m world champion, Maurice Greene. The injury prevented a defense of his 200 m Olympic title.
Johnson ended his career at the Sydney Olympics by winning the gold medal in the 400 m, which brought his total number of Olympic gold medals to four. By winning the 400 m at the age of 33 years 12 days, he earned the distinction of being the oldest Olympic gold medalist at any track event shorter than 5000 m.
Johnson was also the anchor of the United States 4×400 relay team along with Alvin Harrison, Antonio Pettigrew, and Calvin Harrison, which originally won the gold medal, but was later stripped of the title after Pettigrew and Jerome Young (who ran in the heats) were found guilty of having used performance-enhancing drugs.
On July 18, 2004, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled that Jerome Young was ineligible to compete in Sydney and annulled all his past results, including those achieved as part of relay teams. Young had competed for the USA team in the heats and semi-final of this event.
Therefore, the United States team was stripped of the gold medal and Nigeria, Jamaica, and the Bahamas were moved up one position each. On July 22, 2005, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned this decision and restored the original finish order of the race based on a ruling that a team should be disqualified because of a doping offense by an athlete who did not compete in the finals.
Then in June 2008, Antonio Pettigrew “admitted in court he cheated to win” by using banned performance-enhancing substances and agreed to return his gold medal. Johnson announced that he would return his own gold medal, won as part of the relay team with Pettigrew. Johnson stated that he felt “cheated, betrayed and let down” by what Pettigrew had done at the Games. Pettigrew committed suicide in 2010.
Michael Johnson Wife
Johnson currently lives in Marin County, California, with his second wife Armine Shamiryan, a chef, and his son Sebastian, born in 2000 during his first marriage to entertainment reporter Kerry D’Oyen.