“Who knows how many we lost”: US Olympic Legend Michael Johnson Lauds Current Generation For Prioritizing Mental Health

Published 10/12/2021, 1:34 AM EDT


American sprinter Michael Johnson became the 1st person to win both 200m and 400m races in the 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta. For over a decade, he was unbeaten in the long sprints as he held world records in the indoor 400 meters and the outdoor 200 meters.

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Michael Johnson is famous for his running style, which differs greatly from any other athlete: upright back, low knee-lift, and a composed face. He was named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News, which had awarded him American Athlete of the Year a record 5 times.

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Recently, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, Johnson took to Twitter to express his views regarding their generation of athletes.

Johnson’s appeal to new athletes

Michael Johnson expressed his views regarding his generation while addressing how times have changed. He accepted that their generation of athletes were taught to toughen out, even when in need of comfort.

Johnson expressed his views regarding athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, who stepped down from the biggest stage, prioritizing their mental health.

“Mental health is an issue that affects every single one of us. But it is also unique to every single one of us. This isn’t something to be diagnosed and analyzed in real-time from the broadcast booth or on social media. We need to listen,” said Johnson.

Johnson believes that mental health should be given equal importance and not treated as taboo.

“It should be part of the same conversation about how these young people deal with the stress of what they do and the balance they are striking between that job and their life outside sport,” he added.

“Elite sport can be bad for mental health”- Michael Johnson

Star sprinter Michael Johnson is also of the opinion that elite sports can definitely have a negative impact on athletes.

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World champion sprinter Michael Johnson of the U.S. speaks during the Doha GOALS forum in Doha December 11, 2013. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad/Files

“The mental side of the sport can completely override the physical talents of even the greatest competitor. Of course, elite sport can be bad for your mental health,” said Johnson.

Johnson added that athletes should be careful to know about the “balance”. The new generation of athletes has figured out when to stop and take a break. He looks forward to a new world where athletes put themselves on top, prioritizing themselves over unimaginable glory.

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DIVE DEEPER

“I Got to Do Everything”: How Michael Johnson Gave Usain Bolt Closure on Retirement From Track

12 days ago

 

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Richa Goswami

49 articles

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.

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