US Olympic legend Michael Johnson reveals how a sudden case of “food poisoning” ruined his hopes in Barcelona in 1992

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Before Usain Bolt became known, the track and field world saw Michael Johnson remarkably dominating track competitions. The sprinter won four gold medals at three different Olympics and continued his reign for over a decade.

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On the way to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, ​​however, the sprinter did not win its characteristic 200-meter race. It was reported that he suffered food poisoning at a restaurant in Spain, which dashed his hopes of winning gold in that race. He also opened up about the psychological stress that followed.

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Michael Johnson had food poisoning

The talented young sprinter was in the shape of his life when he went to Barcelona. It is noteworthy that he made it onto the big stage at the 1991 World Cup in Tokyo when he won the gold medal in the 200-meter run. Soon after, however, it was heading south when the Sprinter revealed its food poisoning problems.

“When I was in my early twenties, I was world champion in 1992. I was at the forefront of the sport, unbeaten for two years, a big favorite to win the Olympics and the 200m. Then I got food poisoning just before the games. I would not have thought that the food poisoning hit me so badly that I can no longer take part in competitions as normally. “

“I only noticed that on the first run over the 200 meters. When the gun goes off and I run and don’t feel like myself anymore. I feel like I’m walking inside someone else’s body, ”said Johnson.

This caused great pain to the talented sprinter as his dreams were shattered.

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Johnson is on his way to recovery

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In the race he was eliminated in the heats after finishing sixth. Understandably, Johnson found it difficult to cope with his washed-up dreams. In the hope of getting better, he also met a sports psychologist in this regard. He said it was a huge problem as many athletes would be in crisis given the loss he has suffered.

Johnson also revealed how he spoke to his father about his problems as it helped him regain his confidence. He later won two gold medals over 200 meters and 400 meters at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Center, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States wears a protective face mask. REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson / File Photo

Johnson particularly praised Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka for making decisions that helped them alleviate their anxiety. With mental health problems no longer a taboo, it is important for athletes to make decisions that will benefit them in the future.

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