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Michael Johnson - Olympic & World Champion 12x🥇 0x🥈 0x🥉 2x🏆

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Michael Johnson - Olympic & World Champion 12x🥇 0x🥈 0x🥉 2x🏆

Episode 162: Michael Johnson - Olympic & World Champion - Business Performance Speaker & Coach

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"The Greg Bennett Show"

In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg chats with one of the greatest sprinters of all time. One of the greatest Olympians of all time ... Michael Johnson.

The "Fastest Man on Earth".

MJ is the only male athlete in history to win the 200 meters and 400 meters events at the same Olympics, a feat he accomplished at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He is also the only man to successfully defend his Olympic title in the 400 m, having done so at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Four times an Olympic champion and eight times a world champion, he piled up a career total of 12 Olympic and World Championship gold medals and world records over both 200 and 400 meters by the time he retired from competition. Over the last 20 years Michael has parlayed his learning from a successful Olympic athlete into success as an entrepreneur, an award winning television commentator, and a speaker and coach sharing the strategies and behaviors required to achieve high performance in business and in life.

Michael accumulated eight gold medals at the World Championships and is tied with Carl Lewis for the fourth most gold medals won by a runner. He was elected to the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004, where his 200 m performance at the 1996 Olympics was named the greatest track and field moment of the last 25 years.

Michael has been a part of the BBC's commentary team for every Olympics since Athens 2004.

His content on the AnyQuestion platform is as world-class as his performances on the track.

You simply must log-in and listen to his answers.

Born in the Texan city of Dallas on 13 September 1967, Michael Duane Adalbert Adam Johnson was the youngest of five siblings. As a teenager he devoted himself to his studies, with athletics just a regular sideline. Aged 19, he enrolled at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. It was there, in April 1987, that he was spotted by Clyde Hart – the coach who would later take him to the pinnacle of world athletics – as he broke the university 200m record. By then he had already adopted his distinctive running style, characterised by an upright gait and short stride, that would later see him nicknamed “the Duck”.

Starting in 1993, Johnson embarked on an incredible sequence of 58 400m races in which he wentundefeated, and he was soon being hailed as “Superman”. The pinnacle of his track career came on home soil, at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. 83,000 spectators looked on as Johnson, resplendant in his golden running shoes, completed a remarkable 200m-400m double, an achievement never matched before or since in men’s athletics. His times were remarkable too: 19.32 seconds for the 200m – a world record that stood for 12 years until being broken by Usain Bolt – and 43.49 seconds for the 400m.

On 26 August 1999 in Seville (SPA), Johnson set a new 400m world record of 43.18 seconds which stood until Wayde van Niekerk's amazing performance in Rio 17 years later. In the space of a decade at the top, which culminated in a final Olympic gold in the 400m at Sydney 2000, he amassed a total of eight world and four Olympic titles (never once experiencing the taste of silver or bronze). He retired from competition in 2001 to pursue a successful career as a media pundit, while also managing the career of one of his successors, Jeremy Wariner, who won Olympic gold in the 400m at Athens 2004.


3:26 - Interview with Michael Johnson begins.

5:47 - Michael describes his current fitness reigme.

9:49 - Michael explains how he found his passion for sprinting and athletics.

17:08 - Around the age of 16, Michael started realising that his running was high level. Then Universities started circling and offering scholarships due to his coach at the time, a pivotal moment for young MJ.

20:50 - Greg and Michael discuss his running technique and how his natural method would develop and allow him to set world records.

26:52 - So did MJ feel he was more a 200m, or a 400m athlete?

31:59 - Coach Clyde Hart helped Michael break his race up into the four P's - Push in the first hundred, Pace in the second hundred, Position in the third hundred ... and then Pray in the fourth hundred.

No one can sprint the 400 metres all-out - NO ONE!

37:34 - Michael describes some his greatest highs through his extensive career.

40:57 - Heading into the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, Michael Johnson was aiming to make history.

In 100 years of the Games, no male athlete had ever won gold in both the 200m and 400m events at the same Olympics. If the pressure of achieving something that had never been done before wasn’t enough for Johnson, a choice of clothing had upped the ante even more.

His shoes.

With a statement-making decision, Johnson had chosen to wear a pair of shiny-bright gold running spikes for the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

46:04 - As the starting gun fired, Johnson got away cleanly. He led coming out of the bend, having completed the first 100m in 10.12 seconds.

But if the first 100m was impressive, the second was simply remarkable.

As he cruised across the finish line, metres ahead of his closest rivals, Johnson had not only broken the world record… he had smashed it.

His final time was 19.32 seconds, three tenths of a second less than the previous world best and the largest ever improvement on a 200m record.

It meant the second half of the race had been run in an unbelievable time of 9.2 seconds - a third of a second faster than Usain Bolt’s current world record of 9.58.

50:11 - Michael describes some of his lowest lows and disappointments in his career and how he mentally dealt with them and moved forward to further success.

There's no reason to believe that I'm not going to win

53:18 - Michael explains how he felt around his retirement and how he moved through that journey from professional athlete to the next phase of his life and career

I was very fortunate to have achieved all my goals

56:15 - The lads have some fun with some rapid fire questions.

59:29 - Interview concludes.


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Bennett Endurance is a high-performance consulting business for athletes of all ages and abilities and non-athletes wanting to optimize their performances, health, wellbeing, and longevity.


With a combined 50 years of racing as professional athletes, 30 years as coaches and 30 years as athlete managers, Bennett Endurance has the knowledge, experience, and professionalism for intimate one-to-one, small group consultations, and mastermind groups. Helping you thrive and to live your high-performance life. Find out more >


Passion and Purpose. Greg Bennett is driven and cares deeply about optimizing and living a high-performance life. His passion will cause others to be inspired to optimize their own lives. Greg visibly enjoys entertaining his audience with incredible stories of finding his passion, aligning that passion with his strengths, and taking control of his own life. Be ready to be inspired and entertained. You will leave with the tools and tactics to go live your own high-performance life. Find out more >


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