Michael Johnson's Biography
Michael Duane Johnson was born on 13 September 1967 in Dallas, USA.
His father was a truck driver and his mother a teacher. In his inspiring book, Slaying The Dragon, Michael Johnson described how his parents raised him and his siblings, who became a teacher, a school counselor, a systems analyst, and a special agent for US Department of Defense.
Michael Johnson was educated at Baylor University in Waco.
Nicknamed 'The Duck' because of his upright running style, or 'Superman' because of his phenomenal athletic achievements, it was in the nineties that Michael Johnson dominated the 200m and 400m.
Not only did Johnson become the first man to top the 200m and 400m rankings simultaneously, but he achieved this feat five times in the nineties.
Michael Johnson is the only man to have won both the 200 and 400 metres at the World Championships and the Olympics.
He won the world championship 200 metres in 1991 and 1995 and the 400 metres in 1993 and 1995. And, after missing the 1992 Barcelona Olympics through food poisoning, he accomplished the same double gold medal winning feat at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
He became the 400m Olympics champion again in Sydney 2000.
Michael Johnson ran in what was probably the most expensive pair of shoes in the world. Nike came up with a running shoe with a sole that weighed only 30g; the shoe being made of a material called Zytel, a DuPont Nylon polymer.
Michael Johnson described his mental approach in an interview with Colin Jackson:
"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 has been an impressive pundit on many major athletics events for the BBC and has also written informed columns in The Telegraph.
In recent years Michael Johnson has been critical of the state of British athletics. These comments have antagonised some British athletes including Darren Campbell.
"I spent one day on the track with him at my home in Marin County, California, and then designed a series of workouts he can use during the season.
"You're probably wondering how this came about. Well, Andy's coach, Brad Gilbert, is a long-time friend and neighbour of mine ..."
In summary, Michael Johnson is a 5 time Olympic Champion and 9 time World Champion.
However, in 2008, Michael Johnson said that he was returning his 4x400m relay gold from the Sydney Olympic Games after Antonio Pettigrew, who was on the team, admitted taking banned substances.
In August 2008, Michael Johnson gave his reaction to Usain Bolt beating his 200m world record at the Beijing Olympics.
In 2010, Michael Johnson was one of the celebrities appearing on Celebrity Apprentice in the US.
On 5 July 2012, Michael Johnson presented the documentary Survival of the Fastest, broadcast on Channel Four.
As well as broadcasting, he runs Michael Johnson Performance (MJP), an academy to help athletes reach their potential.
Back to Top