Taking the Michael

Michael JohnsonUS sprinter, Michael Johnson, is one of the true Olympic greats being the only man to win both the 200 and 400 metres at the same Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.

In 2004 he was elected to the Track and Field Hall of Fame and his 1996 achievement voted the greatest track and field moment of the previous 25 years.

He has also been a stalwart of BBC sports coverage for some years, particularly athletics as you would expect, and also writes for the Daily Telegraph.

Johnson is knowledgeable, thoughtful and always worth listening to, so I was surprised to hear that his profile in the US is virtually nil.

He puts this down to the competition from other sports like football, baseball and basketball, but their loss is our gain.

However, he doesn’t always live up to his Mr Cool image as this clip from the BBC’s box during Mo Farah’s 10,000m win illustrates. (Thanks to Going Gently for the link)

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Chariots of Pudding 6th August 2012

    Looks like Mr Johnson was pretending he was riding a bronco at a rodeo. Denise Lewis – equally knowledgeable and articulate – looks like she’s pretending she’s at a Take That concert. John Inverdale seems to pretending he’s a carer for the mentally afflicted while Colin Jackson seems to be pretending his grandma has just died. A great sporting moment.

  • john 6th August 2012

    I posted the same clip today… it was lovely to see their joy…denise especially went bananas which was refreshing as she so often sees a little cool!

  • Trevor Rowley 7th August 2012

    Yes, Michael Johnson was certainly a formidable athlete in his heyday. He also knows his stuff and, unlike many former top sportsmen who try their hand at TV (and radio) sports punditry, he is extremely personable and always worth listening to. However, did any of our listeners notice, as I did, that in one of Usain Bolt’s races (I think it might have been the semi) he was asked what he thought of the win that he had just witnessed. MJ made very little comment about the race itself but merely commented that he thought all the “messing about” was totally inappropriate. He was obviously referring to Bolt’s posing, parading and “showboating” before and after the race. None of the others in the studio picked him up on this and he remained po faced.

    Also, who was he cheering for in the Mo Farah race? There was also an American in there who came second. In his position (being paid a fee by the BBC) how does he decide where his loyalties lie?

  • Pamela Lesniak 12th August 2012

    Would just like to congratulate Michael Johnson on his knowledgeable, courteous and unbias commentary – I am now a ‘sports’ fan, he was certainly one of our favourite presenters and a pleasure to listen to. I hope we see more of him in Great Britain. Well done BBC on your choice of pesenters.


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