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Michael Johnson: Still Built for Speed

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Looking…looking … searching … probing … A-ha! Found one -- that pebble of positivity amidst the rubble that is Dallas sports these days. Granted, it’s a s-t-r-e-t-c-h. But in the carnage left by the Stars, Mavs and Rangers, I give you Michael Johnson. You remember Dallas’ golden boy, right? Born here. Skyline High School. Baylor. World record-holder -- still -- in the 200 and 400, along with five Olympic golds and nine world titles.Yeah, that guy.

Last time I saw him I was at the ’96 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, as he ran 200 meters so fast he literally could’ve been ticketed in a school zone. He topped out at 23 mph, for cryin’ out loud, a speed at which most of us get all handle-bar-wobbly on our Schwinns. Well, these days Michael wants to help you run faster, kick harder or hit it farther via his Michael Johnson Performance Center in that burgeoning sports empire known as McKinney’s Craig Ranch.

The center, set to open June 9 just down the street from the TPC golf course and the Cooper Aerobics Center, just landed an exclusive sponsorship with fitness giant Nautilus and will boast an indoor track, 24,000 square feet of training space, a physical therapy center, 13 soccer fields and 14 baseball fields. Sounds pretty cool. Much cooler than, say, the Dirk Nowitzki School of Leadership, the Mike Modano Center for Survival or the Robinson Tejeda School of Making it Through Four Friggin’ Innings. --Richie Whitt

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


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