What is Athletics Icon Michael Johnson Doing Now? | Legends Live On

I was able to accomplish and
achieve the sort of consistency
and longevity that I did
based on a singular focus of,
how do I get the absolute
best out of myself
from a performance standpoint?
He was the youngest
of five children
and his mum was a teacher
and the other four kids
all have got college degrees
and it was a very bright,
highly motivated,
high-achieving family.
High school
I was a 100, 200m sprinter.
Throughout my four years
of my college career
I was primarily 200,
and so for the first six years
of my professional career,
the 200 was the race
that I was more focused on.
And when I had to pick one
I would run that one and win it
and then have to
sit in the stands
and watch someone else
win the other one
and feeling like
I could win that,
and I didn’t like that feeling.
Inside Michael Johnson
there was a lot more going on
that he wouldn’t really
let us see.
It was my first Olympics.
I was ranked number one in the
world for the past two years,
hadn’t lost a race.
I was the defending
world champion from 1991
so I was in fantastic shape
that year.
I got food poisoning
just before the Games,
just sort of wrecked all of
my preparation and condition.
Michael Johnson in lane two,
Frank Fredericks right next
to him in lane three.
Coming down to the top
of the stretch
and Adeniken of Nigeria
has a short lead.
Now Michael Johnson is really
having to work to get there,
as Frank Fredericks wins,
and Johnson,
Johnson may not have made
the final four.
I wasn’t able to advance –
the biggest disappointment
of my life.
Frank Fredericks of Bolivia
was the winner
of that second semifinal heat
of the 200m.
That inability to run
that final in 1992
definitely bothered him
and was one of the things that
spurred him onward.
OK, so what could I have done
to prevent that?
Well, I could have had
my royal food taster,
you know, taste all of my food
and then wait 24 hours to see
if they still look healthy
or not,
and then I’ll decide to eat it,
you know,
and that’s just not practical.
I had been named as
one of the members
of our 4x400m relay team.
And I remember we won it
and we got our gold medal
and it was just not a good
experience for me at all.
I wasn’t there to win a gold
medal as a member of a relay.
I didn’t win the medal
that I wanted.
Start to question, am I really
as good as I thought I was?
“Didn’t get it this year,
we’ll try again next year.”
There is no next year
at the Olympics.
I don’t think I was poisoned
or sabotaged,
but I’ve never thought
about that.
Maybe – you never know.
I mean, I was beating up
on people pretty bad
and maybe they didn’t want me
to win.
But they weren’t able to
keep me down for long,
if that was the case.
Michael Johnson with his first
steps toward track immortality.
We knew the situation.
The situation was Michael was
as close to unbeatable
as unbeatable can be.
Michael Johnson is off and
he’s cruising for the finish.
Michael Johnson
coming home all by himself.
Michael Johnson
is halfway to history.
So there was a group of us
really fighting for
the other two medals.
When I say I came second
to Michael Johnson, it’s OK.
So I’m very fortunate
to have been part of
Michael’s history.
He changed the 400m event,
no doubt about it,
because he was the first
pure sprinter
who took on the 400 properly.
He made us all realise,
this is a sprint,
you’ve got to have speed
to run the really fast times.
I remember standing
behind the rostrum
and I remember just being aware
that Michael
wasn’t in the moment.
I remember turning to Michael
and saying,
“Are you all right?”
and he said, “Yeah, yeah.”
I said, “This is it,
this is why we do this.
“Don’t forget to savour
this moment.”
And there’s this wonderful
shot of Michael,
I think it’s the only time
he ever cried on a rostrum.
He blames me for that
because he said I snapped him
out of…
He was already
thinking about the 200m.
Flashbulbs flashing,
Ato Boldon away well,
so is Frank Fredericks,
and here comes Michael Johnson.
I thought it was going to take
breaking the world record
in order to win.
Michael Johnson,
running for the line
and into Olympic history.
I wrote at the time,
“He turned the inevitable
into the incredible.”
Everybody knew he was
going to win
but nobody thought he was
going to run 19.32.
I was really focused on
just trying to make history
and be the best that there’s
ever been in those two events.
As these young kids
come onto the stage,
could we give them a good ol’
Aussie g’day and welcome?
Stadium Australia in Sydney,
Michael Johnson in another
attempt to make history.
He would become the first man
to win back-to-back
Olympic 400m gold medals.
400m final is under way.
I wanted to end my career
on a good note.
Wanted to end my career as a
champion, as Olympic champion.
Michael Johnson wins another
and once again cements his
place as an all-time great.
Michael Johnson,
the first to repeat
as Olympic 400m champion.
In track and field in general
I think Michael Johnson
was a name that everyone knew.
I appreciate
what he’s done for us
and the example
he set out for us
and the records that he did
put out there for us,
it really motivated myself.
There’s probably nothing that
you’re ever going to be able to
do in your life
that’s going to top that,
so I’m going to have to prepare
myself for another career.
We’re focused on
helping athletes
be the best athletes
that they can.
Michael always gave you the
impression that he was going
to be the mechanical engineer
with the pocket liner
and the pens in his pocket.
He never sleeps.
When he does sleep
he’s dreaming about,
“What am I going to do
to be better tomorrow?”
and so what that does is it
almost forces him to
look around at everything,
evaluate how it is today
and look around
for opportunities to improve on
what’s going on today,
and that drives a lot
of people crazy.
It’s much harder for a track
and field star in America
to be really well known
and to really leave their mark,
and I think Michael
has done that,
not just because
of what he did on the track,
but what he’s done
off the track as well.
Hi, I’m Michael Johnson.
We’re here in Dallas, Texas,
at Michael Johnson Performance
and we’re working
with the young leaders,
doing a little bit of
basketball here,
a little team-building.
Really cool exercise
so we can get to learn
how to communicate better
with one another.
My foundation is really focused
on helping find young people
around the world
who are really interested
in helping their communities
and helping other young people
who have overcome significant
challenges just as they have.
This year we had our first
class of 15 young leaders.
Whether it be lack of education
in their community,
or poverty in their community
or war,
what we’re trying to do
with this programme
is to find those young people
who have overcome those
challenges through sport
and who have shown
a real passion
for being a leader
in their community
and changing their community
and helping other young people
overcome just as they have.
Just like Drica here in Rio.
It was soccer, or football,
that helped her overcome
the poverty
and the situation
that she was in
and she decided, “I’m going to
use the same thing.
“I know that kids in
my community love football
“so I’m going to help them
through using football.”
I learnt different things
from different cultures
because there were young people
from several countries.
I learnt things like
how to look after my health
and the children’s health
and how to stay in good shape.
I also learnt the Haka!
These young people have gotten
themselves to the starting line
and then decided instead of
just going ahead myself,
I’m going to help others
get here, too,
and so they inspire me,
and that’s what makes me
feel so good
about what we’re able to do
with these young leaders.
Michael Johnson.
I have great memories
of my career,
but I’m happy with
what I’m doing now.
As long as I’m close to
athletes every day,
I love what I do now.
I still wake up the same way
I did when I was competing,
wake up every day driven,
ready to go,
you know, conquer something.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Michael Johnson is a legend and he was the best one of my role models I grew up looking up too as An Olympic gold medalist this black man here was the truth he was an unadulterated monster on track and field

  2. Even though the records have gone Johnson remains the best I have seen, at 400m he was pretty much untouchable.
    Van Nekerk my have broken the record but he does not have Johnson’s durability

  3. Cuando eres un deportista prepotente, arrogante y creído: NO BRILLAS !! Y este corredor tiene esos defectos…total que representa a un país que lo discrimina.

  4. I love Michael Johnson. Brilliant athlete, extremely well spoken and as a British citizen, I love watching and listening to him on our screens. I also enjoy the camaraderie between himself and the BBC sports presenters and commentators. Their chats come over as very natural – as though they are friends outside broadcasting – Gabby, Denise, Colin etc – When I listen to Michael – I often pray and hope that both current and young British athletes (coming up) – are listening. He is incredibly knowledgeable and that voice…..hm

  5. Майкл огонь! Помню, как 22 года назад 14 летним мальчишкой я смотрел олимпиаду в Атланте на стареньком ламповом телевизоре и болел за джонсона, фредрикса и болдона. Золотое время было!

  6. I was in Atlanta when Michael Johnson set the World Record in the 200. Remember the sparkle of the golden shoes, Turned to the guy sitting in front of me and he said “He caught a flyer”. We looked at the replay and he said , “I was wrong”. MJ got out of the gate soooooo fast. I have nothing but the fondest memories of Atlanta. The excitement, driving to Atlanta, finding that the city of Atlanta had provided parking and buses to take us in. The only thing i could complain about was the high price of the food. $15.00 for a Big MAC.

  7. Michael Johnson was such a superstar. Unorthodox running style, great speed and outstanding work ethic. Such a pleasure to watch. Roger Black ages well.

  8. It's great to see Mr. JOHNSON now, and 1996 just before the Olympic. I was able to take some nice pictures of him and Carl Lewis, and Michael Johnson just walked away from everyone. 1966#

  9. I feel that we Brits are so lucky that he does so much sport's commentary for the BBC. It wouldn't be the same without him

  10. He’s more handsome today than back then. Also a very articulate, charismatic individual apart from his great talent as an athlete




  12. Lol, royal food taster? Prepare your own meals and put a lock on your fridge door…yeah that should do it.

  13. I never thought Johnson’s 19.32 would be beaten in my lifetime. It would take a freak like Bolt to do.

  14. Michael Johnson was my example, hero and great sprinter! I ran straight up just like, Michael Johnson, when I attended High School. . I was able to run the 100, 200, 400, 4×100 (2nd & anchor legs) sprint relay and 4×400 relay. So, I thank God for Michael Johnson and his style of sprinting and being a positive example for me and other sprinters. 👍😎

  15. There has to be some sort of mystery in this name of Michael. Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson, Michael Johnson. Coincidence?

  16. I admit, I have suspected MJ of doping. I no longer do! Cheaters don’t work as hard and diligently as him. Respect!

  17. WHAT IS PEBBLES FLINSTONE DOING NOW AFTER THE SYDNEY OLYMPICS IN 2000….well im not running like that anymore people really missed the olympics in 2000 it was the most underwatched olympics and the best they ever had i was so happy to be with marion jones its too bad about her shes a phony for sure

  18. I'll never forget when he FAKED the injury in the 150m race against Donovan Bailey when he realized he couldn't catch him and NEVER had the guts to challenge him to a rematch

  19. I look forward to Worlds and Olympics track and field because MJ works for the BBC then and is the BEST thing on TV. Eloquent, intelligent, reasonable and knowledgeable. Same with Navratilova when Wimbledon rolls around.

  20. Still a great role model for all people. He trained the right way, HARD!!! He ran clean, and prepared to win!!!

  21. Wow! Love this legend. He is a fantastic human being. I keep playing that 200m world record breaking race, over and over again. I also play the 400m race over and over. Love his energy and what he is doing now

  22. Legend is used to often in sports….however this guy is a proper legend never forget his 200 metres world record…. never thought anyone would get near it!!!

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