Leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, ESPN.com counted down its ranking of the top 30 U.S. Summer Olympians of all time. Coming in at No. 5: Baylor graduate Michael Johnson, BBA ’91.
Johnson ran track at Baylor from 1987-90, winning five NCAA titles, then went on to claim four Olympic gold medals across three Olympics (4×400 relay, 1992; 200 meters, 1996; 400 meters, 1996 & 2000). He was elected to the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000, the U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2004, and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009, and will be inducted as part of the international IAAF Track and Field Hall of Fame‘s inaugural class in November.
Over the years, Johnson has served as a volunteer assistant coach and consultant for Baylor’s track and field program, and the program’s annual home meet is the Michael Johnson Dr Pepper Classic. Today, he serves as an agent and motivational speaker and oversees a training facility in North Texas. Johnson even had the privilege of carrying the Olympic torch up to Stonehenge earlier this month.
Johnson’s Olympic legacy was carried on by another Baylor alum, Jeremy Wariner, who won two gold medals in 2004 and then a gold and silver in 2008. Wariner is part of the 4×400-meter relay pool for this year’s games. All told, Baylor alumni have won nine Olympic gold medals — more than 161 of the 204 countries competing in this year’s games.
Sic ’em, Michael and all Baylor Olympians!
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* Michael Johnson voted into U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (July 2009)
* Bears leave Beijing with three more Olympic medals (Aug. 2008)