Michael Johnson – International Athletics Legend. Motivational Speaker
Michael Johnson was born in Dallas, Texas and attended Skyline High School.
A 1990 graduate of Baylor University, Johnson won a number of medals at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships during his collegiate career. Johnson’s breakthrough onto the world stage came in 1991 when he won the World Championship 200m title in Tokyo.
A month before the 1992 Summer Olympics Johnson contracted food poisoning, which resulted in weight loss and a loss of form. He consequently failed to qualify for the 200m final. Nonetheless, he was able to race as a member of the 4 x 400 m relay team, which won a gold medal and set a new world record (2:55.74).
Johnson won the 400m at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart. He also won another gold medal as a member of the 4 x 400 m relay team, setting a new world record (2:54.29). In the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg Johnson completed his first “double” in a major tournament, winning both the 200m and 400m.
In 1996, Michael Johnson broke the 200m world record which had stood for nearly 17 years when he ran 19.66s at the USA National Championships. With that performance he qualified to run at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and prepared to attempt to win both the 200m and 400m races. This feat had never before been achieved by a man. Some considered it to be impossible because of the overlapping schedule for the two events, since a 200m / 400m attempt was so unusual.
On July 29 he easily captured the 400m Olympic title with a time of 43.49s, beating Roger Black of Great Britain by almost a second. At the 200m final on August 1st, Johnson ran the opening 100m in 10.12 s, achieved a peak speed of over 40 km/h (25 mph), and finished the race in 19.32s, shattering the world record he had set just months before. This was the largest improvement ever on a 200m world record.
In 1999 he was again plagued by injury, and his following season was troubled with two injury scares that limited him to just four 400m races before the World Championships in Seville. Were it not for the IAAF’s policy of allowing defending champion’s automatic entry, he would not have raced in Seville, since he failed to compete in the USA trials due to his injury. He recovered and won his fourth 400m World Champion title with a new world record of 43.18s. He later ran the last leg of the 4 x 400 m relay, adding a ninth World Championship gold medal to his collection.
Michael Johnson ended his career at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney by winning the 400m gold and 4 x 400 m relay race, bringing his total number of Olympic gold medals to five.
Since his retirement from athletics, Johnson has gone on to establish himself as one of the world’s leading motivational speakers, having worked with such companies as Microsoft, Sony, UBS Bank, Bank of Scotland, Lucent Technologies, and Proctor and Gamble. He has also achieved success as a television commentator and personality, working for BBC Sports, and presenting documentaries for Sky Sports. Accordingly, in 2002, Johnson was awarded the Television Pundit of the Year Award by the UK’s Royal Television Society.
Johnson currently lives in San Francisco, California.
Speaking topics include:
- Achieving World Class Performance
- Peak Performance
- Goal Setting
- Staying Focused