Dallas-Born Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson Trains Future Athletes

During Black History Month, NBC 5 is taking a closer look at the men and women who broke barriers and the people shaping the future for North Texas

Vernon Bryant | The Dallas Morning News

Michael Johnson grew up in Dallas. He graduated from Skyline High School (Class of 1986) and went to Baylor University where he was a standout athlete at both.

Johnson was dubbed “World’s Fastest Man” when he broke the 200-meter world record at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. That’s when he started appearing in Nike commercials and solidified himself as a household name. Johnson finished his sprinting career with several accolades and as a 13-time Olympic and World Championship gold medalist.

In 2007, he opened the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney for youth athletes ages nine to 18 and professional athletes in all sports.

NBC 5 spoke to Johnson in 2009 about the importance of the facility.

Young athletes are flocking to the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney order to train to be good enough for the Olympics.

"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," Johnson said. "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. It’s also the home for other athletes who from the NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS and PGA.

College football athletes are training at the Michael Johnson Performance academy in McKinney before the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins next week.
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