Former Baylor All-American to be honored at Thursday ceremony.
Michael Johnson prides himself on doing things that have never before been done. Johnson, who has served as a consultant to Baylor sprinters for the past 12 years, emerged as the premier draw in all of track and field, and can lay claim to the title of greatest all-around sprinter of all time.
Just a few of his many accomplishments include:
He is the only sprinter ever to be ranked No. 1 in the world in the 200 and 400 meters in the same year, and he has achieved that distinction an unbelievable four times (1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995);
He is the only sprinter to ever break 20 seconds for the 200 and 44 seconds for the 400 (establishing bests of 19.32 at the 1996 Olympics and 43.18 at the 1999 World Championships);
He is the only sprinter to win a 200 and 400 at a World Championship, first taking the 200 in 1991 and later the 400 in 1993 and 1997, and then took it a step further by winning both events at the 1995 World Championships and added a third gold in the 4x400 relay;
He is the first sprinter in history to win the 200 and 400 meters at the Olympics, taking both races in Atlanta and setting a world record in the 200 and an Olympic record in the 400.
He ran what is believed to be the fastest 4x400 relay leg ever, clocking a 42.94 in anchoring the United States team to a world record 2:54.29 at the 1993 World Championships;
He became the first 400-meter runner to break 45 seconds indoors, setting the world record of 44.97 in Reno, Nev., then breaking that with a 44.63 just three weeks later.
He set the world record in the 400 meters (43.18) at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain. His World Championship gold medals total nine, the most world medals by any athlete.
The 37-year-old Dallas native crowned his career by being voted into the United States Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2004. At the ceremony, his record-setting 200-meter performance at the 1996 Olympics was deemed the greatest track and field moment in the past 25 years.
In 1991, he won the World Championships 200 meters by the largest margin of victory since the legendary Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics. Johnson also was track and field's athlete of the year in 1990 after being ranked No. 1 in the world at 200 and 400 meters.
In 1992, Johnson won the Olympic Trials with a trials record in the 200 meters. An untimely illness prevented him from getting a medal in the 200 meters, but he did manage to recover enough to win a gold medal running on the USA 4x400-meter relay team, which set a world record in the process.
In 1993, Johnson won the USA national title in the 400 in Eugene, Ore., and followed that with a gold medal at the World Championships. Johnson won the 400 meters and anchored the USA 4x400-meter relay to a new world record in that event. His contribution to that record run was a best-ever split for 400 meters of 42.94. No one else has ever run under 43 seconds.
Throughout 1994, Johnson won all of his 400-meter races and then repeated a gold-medal performance at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July. In the fall of 1994, Johnson was presented with the prestigious Jesse Owens Award, along with being ranked No. 1 in the world for the third time in his career in the 200 and 400. He became only the second athlete to win the Jesse Owens Award twice.
Johnson continued his incredible winning streak as he blazed through the 1995 indoor season, winning his 40th race in a row in the 400, breaking his previous world record - only three weeks old - with a time of 44.63.
As the 1995 outdoor season began, Johnson continued to be victorious in his 200 and 400 meter competitions. At the U.S. National Championships in Sacramento, Calif., he won all six of his races (preliminaries and finals), becoming the first athlete in history to win both the 200 and 400-meter national championship titles. Johnson was the first person ever to run sub-20 seconds for the 200 and sub-44 seconds for the 400 in the same meet.
As the summer flew by, so did Johnson, winning all of his races leading up to the World Championships in Goteborg, Sweden, in August. During the championships, Johnson performed another historic feat - running nine races over nine days and leaving Sweden as the first man ever to attain world championship titles at both 200 meters and 400 meters in the same meet.
Wrapping up the end of the outdoor season, Johnson continued his streak - with 50 consecutive victories at 400 meters and his second Golden Four Championship title. He is, without a doubt, the greatest all-around sprinter of all time.
For everything Johnson accomplished in 1995, his 1996 Olympic performance made it all look like just a warm-up. After convincing the IAAF to alter the Olympic schedule to accommodate his unprecedented 200-400 double, Johnson more than delivered. His 400 win came in an Olympic record time of 43.49, but that stellar showing was just a hint of what was to come. In one of the most highly anticipated events on the Atlanta schedule, Johnson became one of the Olympic Games' all-time greats.
To say Johnson merely claimed a gold medal in the 200 meters would be like saying Michealangelo was a pretty good sculptor. Johnson's lowering of his own 200-meter world record from 19.66 to 19.32 drew comparison to the greatest feats in track and field history, like Bob Beamon's epic Mexico City long jump.
Experts had predicted such a time was humanly possible, but the man who could do it wasn't yet born. In lowering the 200 record a decade or two into the next century, Johnson left Atlanta acclaimed as "The World's Fastest Human."
He continued his prolific success in 1997 when, after missing the USA Nationals due to injury, he successfully defended his 400-meter title at the World Championships in Athens, Greece.
In 1998, Johnson again earned a No. 1 ranking in the 400 meters with the fastest time in the world. He also anchored the 4x400 meter relay team that set a world record at the Goodwill Games in New York.
But, it was during the 1999 season that Johnson finally captured the 400 meter world record he had been chasing for a decade. At the World Championships in Seville, Spain, Johnson not only set a world record time of 43.18, but also raced to a margin of victory that was one of the longest in track history. His dynamic 400-meter race captured the world's attention once again and proved that Michael Johnson is one of the greatest track athletes of our time. His two 1999 World Championship gold medals moved his total to nine and allowed Johnson to pass Carl Lewis as the most prolific runner in World Championship history.
Johnson ran for Baylor from 1987 through 1990 and still holds or is part of school records in six events.
Prior to going overseas in 1990, Johnson won the TAC indoor 400 and outdoor 200, both NCAA 200s and anchored NCAA-winning 4x400-meter relays indoors and outdoors. In 1991, he won the TAC indoor 400, outdoor 200 and the world championship 200 in meet record time.
In 1989, Johnson blistered an American and collegiate indoor record time of 20.59 while winning the NCAA 200-meter title. Outdoors that year, Johnson established school records in the 100 and 200 and also ran a leg on BU's 4x400-meter relay which ran 3:00.66, the second-fastest collegiate time then.
Johnson now resides in Mill Valley, Calif., with his wife, Kerry, and their 4-year old son, Sebastian. Since retiring in 2001, he has started his own sports consulting company, provides television commentary and writes a regular newspaper column. Jeremy Wariner also selected Johnson as his agent after turning pro.