Talk:Michael Johnson (sprinter)

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Got rid of the 'Michael Sanchez' stuff...

Too Biased[edit]

Just browsing this and it seems far too biased. Too much praise. Granted the achievements are noteworthy, but the way its written is just lavishing it and then some. Needs to be made more neutral.

Well edit it then! --Lancevortex 10:11, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Definitely get rid of the sentence "The debate over who was fastest was thus never resolved" in the paragraph about his 150m race against Bailey. Both agreed that they would stop using the title "world's fastest man" if they lost.

Johnson lost.

After being well behind throughout the race. He stopped using the title. Issue resolved. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grant Gussie (talkcontribs) 19:10, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Reasons for reverting Gh's changes[edit]

I didn't think that Gh's edits added to the clarity of the article, in fact rather the opposite. I have therefore reverted to the previous version. Any comments (especially from Gh) appreciated. --Lancevortex 14:48, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

400m record[edit]

The article for Kerron Clement and this one are apparently conflicting; the other page says that the record belongs to Kerron Clement at 44.57 seconds, while this page says that the record belongs to Michael Johnson at 43.18 seconds. Which is correct, or what am I missing?

Clement holds the indoor record, Johnson the outdoor (and absolute) record. --Lancevortex 12:26, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

running style[edit]

a picture (a movie would be best) of his unique running style would be great. I searched yahoo! videos for a decent video to link to but did not find any --Crucible Guardian 05:21, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I found a video on the Internet but it is above the 2MB video file size rule so the only way to include it is to add an external link. The video is from a French TV station but it shows Johnson's unique running style in slow motion as he breaks the 200m-world record. I will add the external link. --User:someone97531 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Max speed[edit]

Johnson's maximum speed in his 200m world record was recently changed from "37km/h" to "over 40km/h". Anyone know which is correct (with source)? --Lancevortex 09:42, 12 September 2005 (UTC)

First of all, I wish people would start putting spaces between numbers and things like "m", "km", "mph", and so on. There should be a space in between. Start using it. That is how Physics does it. That is OFFICIAL. And Wikipedia confirms that in its "style rules"...
You cannot even do that, or cannot even make a simple calculation? It is VERY simple: I do not have any sources, but if the sources that are quoted are correct, there is a simple calculation we can perform:
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
So... 19.32 total minus 10.12 for the first 100 m gives 9.20 seconds for the second 100 m. Converting to m/s is easy: 100/9.20 m/s. Converting to km/h is easy too. Multiply the previous result by 3.6 (3,600 seconds in an hour, 1,000 m in 1 km). Result (rounded): 39.13 km/h average for the second 100 m. I know this does not say anything about maximum speed, but it definitely shows (again, assuming the source on 10.12 is correct) that his maximum speed MUST have been over 37, 38, and 39 km/h. Because the 39.13 is an average. This makes it very likely, though NOT PROOF I admit, that his top speed was indeed over 40 km/h. (talk) 00:07, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
We need reliable sources to back this up. We can sit here and do the math all day, but it really isn't that important. If no reliable sources talk about it, they why should we be any different. I vote for removal of this information. There is no world record for top running speed... Sillyfolkboy (talk) (edits)WIKIPROJECT ATHLETICS NEEDS YOU! 13:42, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

weasel terms[edit]

I think the use of Many at the beginning and in the Bailey race section should be removed.

they have now been removed. --Lancevortex 11:02, 21 September 2005 (UTC)


This article could really use a picture, don't you agree? BMW Z3 23:56, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I have uploaded a picture showing Michael Johnson holding the American flag after completing the double at Atlanta in 1996. I think that it could replace the first table on the article that is repeated towards the bottom of the page. What does everyone think? --User:Someone97531 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Bailey Section Inappropriate[edit]

As currently written, this section suggests that the race was a non-starter, since '...Johnson pulled out a few moments into the race'. A review of the footage clearly indicates Johnson did not 'pull up lame' until the race was 2/3rds over (at about 10 s into a 15 s race), and after Bailey was looking to be a sure winner. The race showed a lot more than the article suggests. Indeed it appeared that Bailey would 'easily win the race' before Johnson pulled up lame - the article suggests Bailey easily won the race because Johnson pulled up lame. The article needs to give Bailey more credit.

I also think the Bailey-Johnson section is inappropriate for the above reasons, and others. Why is it there in the first place? If we are to fill the page with various race anecdotes, we could put the race where Johnson pulled his hamstring in a 200 m race against Maurice Greene, or various times where he had particularly great races. I personally think that a link to the Bailey-Johnson article is enough for now. At the moment, the section is sitting there, slightly out of context. A reader might ask, why is this specific race important? Surely athletes can get injured rather often? Mipchunk 19:28, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

The final part of this section - That same year, Johnson won his third 400 m world title in Athens. At the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York, Johnson anchored the U.S. 4 x 400 m relay team with Jerome Young, Antonio Pettigrew, and Tyree Washington to a win and set the current world record of 2:54.20. Pettigrew has since admitted doping from 1997. [1] Young was caught doping in 1999 - has nothing whatsoever to do with the Bailey race. It's just an attempt to justify somehow that Johnson lost the race and the "title". --Bentonia School (talk) 03:57, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, that tends to indicate a willingness to read something into nothing. The part regarding the Goodwill games was probably stuck in there for lack of somewhere else to put it at that time. I will move that part. Meanwhile, let me remind you that it is inappropriate and a violation of Wikipedia policy to refactor discussion page contributions, which you did by sticking your "American cheese" comment in the middle of someone else's comments. Wildhartlivie (talk) 05:26, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Video of Bailey Johnson Race on YouTube[edit]

Search on 'Bailey Johnson'

Clarification of Xavier Carter's 19.63[edit]

The old version said "In the 10 years since this record was set, [i.e., Johnson's 19.32] no other athlete has even approached Johnson's first world record mark of 19.66 s, until July 11, 2006, when Xavier Carter of the United States posted a 19.63 in Lausanne, leading many to believe that the current mark will endure."

Well, obviously this was written before Carter did his 19.63 and simply ammended with a reference to him, as Wallace Spearmon did 19.65 Sept 2006 and Tyson Gay twice came within several hundredths of a second of hitting 19.66 as well. Clearly, Johnson's 19.32 was not threatened, but the way the sentence was structured it seems as if Carter's time somehow reinforces the notion "that the current mark will endure." Unless someone can find a link to someone saying that these recent marks somehow make Johnson's 19.32 more likely to last many more years, I have gone ahead and rewritten the line.

To be fair, I'd say that the mark COULD be broken as Carter and Spearmon, 22 and 21 respectively both exceeded what Johnson did at age 28 - his 19.66 - and more may come from these two and Gay - 23 and 24 in 2006 when he ran 19.68 and 19.70 - and these three presumably would be eager not only to approach Johnson but to beat each other. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Canada Jack (talk

I've seen that my insert has been rephrased, with the new phrase: "No other athlete even approached Johnson's first world record mark of 19.66 until July 11, 2006, nearly ten years after his 19.32 performance, when Xavier Carter of the United States ran a 19.63 in Lausanne." However, this is not strictly true, as Frank Fredericks ran 19.68 behind Johnson's 19.32 record in 1996. We still need to say this better. Canada Jack 16:09, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Clarification on "world's fastest man"[edit]

Just want to add a note on the phrase "world's fastest man/human" which Johnson was called after the 200 m victory and world record at the 1996 Olympics. It should be noted that the unofficial title of "WFM" typically was awarded either to the 100 m Olympic champion OR to the world record holder in that event.

When Johnson ran 19.32 to win gold in 1996, many commentators, particularly in America, noted that that worked out to 9.66 on average per 100m, clearly "faster" than Donovan Bailey's world record in 1996 of 9.84. What many who said this did not mention (or, more likely, did not know) was that the winning Olympic time (at least since electronic timing generally was used starting with the 1968 Olympics) was the 200 m time was almost ALWAYS "faster" than the 100 m time. In fact, all but one Olympic champion in the 200 m ran "faster" at the Olympics than the 100 m champion from 1968 to 1996. (the exception: Hasely Crawford's 10.06 was "faster" than Don Quarrie's 20.23 in 1976; Mike Marsh was also "slower" in the 1992 200 m final, but ran "faster" in an earlier round).

AS for the claim that Johnson's average speed was clearly "faster," this was a new criteria seemingly invented to give him the title, when in the past this criteria didn't seem to apply. If it had, then Italian Pietro Mennea, who ran 19.72 in 1979 was the "world's fastest human" until 1994, yet for most of that time, Carl Lewis was claimed to have held that title though he never in fact exceeded Mennea.

The article quotes an average speed of some 25 mph, but many 100 m sprinters have been recorded as reaching peak velocities in excess of that. Bailey was measured as having reached a peak velocity of 27.1 mph during the 1996 final (this was quoted in a 1998 article). This speed may have been exceeded by some more recent sprinters, but I have not seen any reports that Johnson ran quite that fast during a race. Canada Jack 20:49, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I remember hearing that he had hit the highest velocity ever recorded for a human -- I think the number was 27.7mph, but really, this is just from memory. I believe this was one of the things that justified his use of the title, "World's Fastest Man." Later (maybe a couple years), a 100m runner recorded a faster maximum velocity (I forget who it was). I came to this page to look for this information. :) 06:47, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Controversy section[edit]

I've removed this section once again, because it says quite clearly at the top of this page that "controversial material of any kind that is unsourced must be removed immediately". Can the editor provide any credible sources for his/her claims that thousands have questioned Johnson's integrity? Is it not much more likely he retired when he did because he was 33 years old and as a multiple Olympic winner and world record holder, he had achieved all he could in his sport?Pawnkingthree 13:00, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Magnitude of record[edit]

My insertion about the magnitude of Johnson's record was removed, so I reinstated it. My reason for so doing is that there is nothing instrinsic about Johnson's 19.32 or the margin of .30 s(not ".3") between his mark and the second-best mark that indicates how far ahead of others he is, unless you have an appreciation of where other runners are. By noting that the distance between Johnson and #2 is 1 and #2 and .30 seconds later is about 28 dramatically, I think, illustrates how far ahead of the rest Johnson is, despite a recent rash of runners in the 19.6/19.7 range.

I agree that the other remarks suggesting that it was predicted that the person who would first run 19.3 wasn't yet born before Johnson's achievement should be omitted if there is no source for such a statement. Canada Jack 00:08, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think there is anything wrong with what you have written, and I won't change anything further. However, I'm of the opinion that there is no need for demonstrating the "magnitude" of Johnson's record. I agree that it is good to note how much faster his performance is than everybody else's, but I think that it is not within the purposes of this encyclopedia to try to get readers to "appreciate" Johnson's record in any sort of "dramatic" fashion.
With that said, I count twenty-six (26) runners whose 200m personal best lies between 19.63 and 19.92 (.30 seconds behind Gay's 19.62). Mipchunk 06:11, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

I'd say if we are to compare this to Beamon's record, we could illustrate why, and I think the number of those who have approached the record is a good way. I have a bit of a problem with saying that lowering it by .34 is the "biggest" improvement ever, only because while true, it is misleading since times to 1/100 th of a second were only recognized in the 60s, and if you go by those marks, Tommie Smith in fact improved the electronic record by a greater margin (though the record to 1/10th was instrinsically faster).

As for 26 - yeah, I hesitated to put a specific number as, obviously, it would have to be updated a lot. And, Yeah, I think I may have counted Gay and Johnson himself, so go ahead and correct that or say "more than 25" or some such thing. Canada Jack 06:47, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

300 metre "record"[edit]

I've changed the wording about Johnson's 300 m "world record" because, bluntly, this is no "world record." Only events sanctioned by the IAAF can have "world records," other events may be run but have no official status and are often called "world bests," like in the 2 miles. And by comparing the improvement Johnson made on the old "mark" is meaningless as the event is seldom run, certainly not at big-time meets where the world's top athletes would be competing. Canada Jack 20:35, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

2000 4x400 Olympics medal[edit]

Unfortunately, the IOC has stripped the entire team of this medal due to the misdoings of others besides Johnson. The medal winning is no longer valid. However, it is entirely proper to show in the infobox that a medal was won but was later disqualified. The article explains the circumstances of this action (affirming that Johnson was not to blame, only effected). Another editor persists in removing this notation, which then misrepresents the status of Johnson's valid medal wins. At present, this is a 3RR issue with the anonymous editor involved, but beyond that person, Johnson can no longer be considered a gold medal holder for that event. Wildhartlivie (talk) 22:55, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Michael Johnson's height (needs to be added)[edit]

I noticed that michael johnson's height was not listed. can it please be added. michael johnson's height is 6ft 1in according to:

from a girl t hat you do not know but big fan[edit]

hi michael i am a big fan i am doing a esay on you can you tell me some info. on you —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:47, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes, with pride. I always believed that the way to achieve success physically was by listening to my body. The body is more intelligent than we are about our needs. When you are training as a runner constantly, your body tells your mind, "here is the food that will be most nourishing, most effective." Does it surprise you that I ate at least a pint of ice cream every day for over eight years? During my peak, I did just that: ate ice cream every day. My body told my mind to eat the ice cream, I ate it, and behold, I rose to be world-class.
  • Something completely different from the above: when I was a boy, my favorite activity was going berry picking with my aunt. I remember looking out at those mountains and thinking, how lovely it would be to cross them faster than the wind blowing across them. Just follow a sunbeam into the infinite. This image I held onto every time I ran from that day until now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

There has to be something under Wikipedia:What Wikipedia Is Not that says it's not somebody's personal page, even if some people do tamper with articles. Sorry kiddo, go track him down or just read the article as written by our fellow Wikipedians. - (talk) 02:01, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Peak Speed[edit]

This article quotes a peak speed of over 60kmph or 37mph for Michael Johnson in his world record 200m sprint. This figure is absolutely false, and in fact is ridiculous. I don't know if it has just been made up but no human being has ever or could come close to that speed. Bear in mind that the current fastest human Usain Bolt only achieved a peak speed of less than 28mph during his 100m world record-breaking final at the 2008 Olympic games, where he also beat Johnson's 200m world record.

I think it likely someone has mistaken his average speed in this race in kmph as a figure in mph, then converted it to kmph by multiplying it by 1.6. An average speed of 37kmph is about right for the entire race, and he may well have peaked at close to or even over 27mph (~43kmph), but since 60kmph or 37mph is a ludicrous speed and blatantly false I am removing it.

--Kevoreilly 23.53, 8 Jan 2008 (UTC)

Most Medal Won[edit]

This part should probably be removed since the article for the information was from 2001 and I am pretty sure someone has beaten that. Michael Phelps has over 50 medals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Why the title of the article is not Michael Johnson (athlete)?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move to Michael Johnson (sprinter). Jafeluv (talk) 19:50, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Just like everybody others athletes with homonyms. I made a bot request for the inversion of redirect. --Kasper2006 (talk) 11:27, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Because the term "athlete" can have broader connotations in American English, meaning that having "Michael Johnson (athlete)" isn't much of a disambiguation in regards to the five other athletes called Michael Johnson who are American football players. To keep more in line with usual disambiguating handles, I suggest that the article be moved to Michael Johnson (sprinter) instead (see Ben Johnson (sprinter) for example. SFB 13:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Michael Johnson (track and field)Michael Johnson (sprinter)requested by Sillyfolkboy (talk) 15:12, 19 April 2012 (UTC)‎
  • Support – Shorter, and I don't think he did any field games (discus, etc.). Seems reasonable per WP:PRECISION, though "runner" might also be possible. ENeville (talk) 18:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Incorrect time[edit]

The article states "In 1996, Johnson ran 16.55 seconds in the 200 m at the U.S. Olympic Trials." I don't know what his time was, but it clearly wasn't under 19 seconds! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 12 August 2012 (UTC)