Jan Johnson

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Jan Johnson
Personal information
Born November 11, 1950 (1950-11-11) (age 67)
Hammond, Indiana, United States

Jan Johnson (born November 11, 1950 in Hammond, Indiana) is an American former athlete who competed mainly in the pole vault. He graduated in 1972 from the University of Alabama, where he holds the school record in the pole vault at 18 feet, 1/2 inch.

He competed for the United States in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany, where he won the bronze medal.

Johnson held a world indoor record at 17 feet, 7 inches while competing for the University of Kansas. He transferred to Alabama, where he became a three-time NCAA champion. He won the 1971 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the Alabama Crimson Tide.[1]

Johnson won the 1968 Illinois state high school championship while competing at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. In 1972, the gymnasium of Rickover Junior High School in Sauk Village, Illinois was dedicated and named in his honor. His daughter, Chelsea, became a two-time NCAA outdoor champion in the pole vault for UCLA, where she is now a member of the coaching staff. Chelsea competed for the US in the women's pole vault at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin.[2][3]

Jan Johnson runs "Sky Jumpers," a pole vault camp in southern California.[4] Johnson has been an outspoken innovator and advocate for pole vault safety.


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