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, “slavery 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, Johnson’s theory could help African-American Olympic athlete Lia Neal, 17, to win a medal, or at least we hope so!
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What do you think?