29 June 2009

Track Stories

Today, I received the following text message from my sister:
"you know the track athlete someone Johnson? what events did he do? a black guy."

First, I hoped she was kidding. My common sense however, told me she was not, and that my sister really does not know who Michael Johnson is. Dear God.

I find this slightly offensive, due to the fact that Michael is still widely regarded as the best 200m-400m runner ever. He still holds the world record for 400m (43.18), set in 1999, and his phenomenal 200m time of 19.32 stood for 12 years until some guy named Usain Bolt broke it last year in Beijing. Michael held an unprecedented dominance over the 400m for his years in track & field, the only tarnish on which was forced upon him by his stupid relay teammate Antonio Pettigrew, who took performance-enhancing substances in 1999 and 2000, leading to the US men's 4x400m team being stripped of their gold medals in Sydney. Nice one, bro.

I know, I know. I shouldn't get so offended, because not everyone keeps track and swimming profiles world records on call in their memory, but it's Michael freakin' Johnson. Not some random Ethiopian-turned-Bahraini miler (no offense, Maryam Jamal).

Anyway, enough of that, and onto Lolo Jones, who I've known of for years, but only today stumbled across this particularly gorgeous photo of.

Jones, who is a hurdler of French, Norwegian, Native American and African-American descent out of Des Moines, Iowa, bowed out of the USA Track & Field 100m hurdles semi in the weekend after locking arms with Michelle Perry. Kind of unfortunate, because she had a real shot at Worlds (at last year's World Indoors, she won the 60m hurdles title) and was coming off a win at the Boston Indoor Games (pictured). Anyway, she's gorgeous and I wonder if I would look that good if I took up hurdling? Thoughts welcome.

Over and out for today, yo.

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