As the Olympic games get closer I keep thinking back to some of my favorite moments in Olympic history that Ive had the opportunity to watch unfold on television. One of my favorite moments took place on the track in Atlanta at the 1996 games and involved a certain USA star and a flashy pair of gold shoes.
With one Olympic gold medal already won in the 400m, Michael Johnson approached the 200m mark relaxed and focused. All eyes were on him as he took his mark. He had set the world record on that very track in the 200m during the trails on June 23, 2006 with a time of 19.66, but no one had ever won the 400m and the 200m before. Could he do it?
The answer was clear from the moment the gun went off as Johnson raced out of the gate ahead of the competition. He pulled away as the runners came through the turn and into the top of the home straight-away. Mike Marsh, Jeff Williams and Carl Lewis raced to keep up through the final meters, but Johnson kicked it into high gear and blew them away in a jaw-dropping performance that left viewers wondering if this man really was human.
His time of 19.32 seconds has not only never been surpassed, it hasnt even been threatened. He smashed the world record in the 200m while also becoming the first to double, bring home the gold in both the 400m and the 200m.
Michael Johnson and his flashy gold shoes flew by the competition in his breathtaking 200m in the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta and his performance there will always be one of my favorite Olympic moments.
Men, 200 m
1. Michael Johnson USA 19,32 WR
2. Frankie Fredericks NAM 19,68
3. Ato Boldon TRI 19,80
4. Obadele Thompson BAR 20,14
5. Jeff Williams USA 20,17
6. Ivan Garcia CUB 20,21
7. Patrik Stevens BEL 20,27
8. Mike Marsh USA 20,48
Will anyone be able to beat Johnson's WR this year? Will returning gold-medalist in the 200m for team USA, Shaun Crawford, be able to do it?
On Wednesday afternoon, August 15, 2008, who will be the 200m gold-medalist? Will it be someone from team USA?