Michael Johnson is one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, having won four Olympic and eight World Championship gold medals.
But even for an elite athlete as talented as Johnson, his quest for glory began with a passion for running and physical fitness.
And what Johnson hopes to instill in others is a desire to be healthy and active.
The American track and field legend met with members of the community in Abu Dhabi on Monday as part of the ‘Billion Step Challenge’ panel discussion at the 9th International Physical Activity and Health Conference at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Johnson, 55, spoke about the importance of regular physical activity during a three-day event hosted by the Ministry of Health and the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. This is the region’s first facility for the physical, mental and social well-being of the people of Abu Dhabi.
“Sport is my passion and regular physical activity and exercise has helped my track and field career. I’m happy to be able to do that,” Johnson said. The National.
“My role is to help communities, organizers and policy makers in how they help people become active and integrate programs into them.
“Motivation is a big part of that and my role is how to get them to understand and how to motivate people.
“People do things that they are motivated to do, but if they are unmotivated they will do difficult things, especially like working out and exercising.”
The Billion Steps Challenge aims to connect thousands of people across communities and encourage them to become more active.
“This is a great initiative that brings people of all ages and abilities together around the same goal before and during the conference, and I am happy to contribute to the achievement of this goal,” said Johnson. rice field.
“This is an ambitious goal, but not impossible, so I encourage everyone to take up the challenge and participate in this fun and enjoyable activity.”
Johnson is related to athletics in another capacity. The American Athletic Hall of Famer has established the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Texas. This is a training facility for young professional athletes of all sports.
There, too, the focus is on overall development.
“We don’t do a lot of direct training of athletes. But we do a lot of consulting work with sports teams and Olympic federations, and we provide educational programs to coaches around the world. ” Johnson said of the training center.
“We have many athletes who have competed in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and the Olympics, but most importantly to us, even those who failed to make it as a professional in sports are still active. [in the discipline]”
Updated: Oct 25, 2022, 12:30 PM