Better, Stronger, Faster: Johnson Perfects Performance

By Jane Geelan-Sayres
|  Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009  |  Updated 11:31 AM CDT
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Last Call With Michael Johnson

KXAS

Michael Johnson sits down with James Chippendale in the Last Call.

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Last Call With Michael Johnson

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson sits down for the Last Call.
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You would think that years after winning four Olympic gold medals, nine world championships and being called the "world's fastest man," life would have slowed down for Michael Johnson. But it hasn't.

James Chippendale recently caught up with him at Lombardo Custom Apparel in Dallas.

"You know, I've always enjoyed dressing up, and Jay (Lombardo) is a very good friend of mine," said Johnson. "I met Jay many, many years ago, and in Dallas, there is nowhere else."

In addition to being the founding member of the Michael Johnson Performance Center, Johnson is also a television commentator for the BBC and writes a column for The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper.

He also runs his own sports management company and even finds time to be a motivational speaker.

"I really tried to blaze my own path," said Johnson. "I never put limits on myself. I didn't try to model myself after anyone else. I think that had I done that, I probably wouldn't have been able to accomplish what I did in track and field."

Johnson grew up in Dallas, is a graduate of Skyline High School and Baylor University.

And considering his accomplishments, it's hard to believe he took up running later than most professional athletes.

"I started late as an athlete. When I was here in high school at Skyline, I wasn't the best athlete," said Johnson. "I never won a state championship, and then I went on to college ... and started to realize what my real potential was."

He also said he was fortunate to have the right people around him, which helped him with his athletic abilities.

"I was extremely fortunate in my own athletic career to be able to achieve every goal that I set for myself," said Johnson. "It was because I had the right people around me, the right team of people to help me, to gain the success."

You could say that drive to help other athletes become as successful is the motivation behind the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney.

"When I started Michael Johnson Performance, it was really with that [helping others succeed] in mind, initially. But then it was, you know, we can help all athletes," said Johnson. "We can help any athlete, regardless of whether they are trying to get to that ultimate level or trying to go to compete at a college level on a scholarship, or whether it's just a kid who wants to enjoy the sport more, and kids are going to enjoy the sport more the better they are."

The center is probably best known for its combine football training program in the spring, where many top NFL prospects go before being selected in the draft.

But it's not just about running and football. Athletes from all backgrounds train at the center in McKinney, including athletes from the NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS and PGA.

Johnson is also a 2009 nominee for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. You can vote for him until June 16.

For more on James Chippendale, the host of "Last Call," and his Love, Hope, Strength Foundation, click here.

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