Michael Johnson, who was the first to win a gold medal in both the 200- and 400-meter sprints in a single Olympic, sat with The Daily Mail last week and shared his thoughts on the possible link between the triumphs of African-American athletes and slavery. Discussing the controversial topic of slavery in America, Johnson stated, “Over the last few years, athletes of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals.”
In his career, Johnson has received four gold medals, won relay gold in 1992 in Barcelona, and defended his 400-meter crown in Sydney in 2000. Acknowledging the possible slave-to-athlete connection, Johnson told Mail, “All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it’s impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn’t left an imprint through the generations.”
The 44-year-old Olympic legend recently took a DNA test for a documentary that aired in England titled, Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest, which proved he in fact is of West African descent. Although it was difficult for the track star to hear the news, Johnson stated, â€œslavery has benefited descendants like me — I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us.”
With the 2012 London Olympics beginning at the end of this month, Johnsonâ€™s theory could help African-American Olympic athlete Lia Neal, 17, to win a medal, or at least we hope so!
What do you think?