USA Olympic Legend Michael Johnson Details Recovery from Stroke

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2019

U.S. Olympian sprinter Michael Johnson runs holding the Olympic Flame at Stonehenge, England, Thursday, July 12, 2012. Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals and eight world championship gold medals, currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400 meters and 4 x 400 meters relay. The Olympic Torch is being carried around England in a relay of torchbearers to make its way to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Legendary Olympic track star Michael Johnson discussed his recovery from a 2018 stroke in an interview with TMZ Sports published Thursday.

Johnson talked about the feeling of suffering a stroke and the difficulty of bouncing back and returning to his previous fitness level:

The 51-year-old former world's fastest man said the stroke occurred in the right side of his brain following a workout in September 2018.

Johnson noted that he was lucky to be treated quickly: "By the time I got to the hospital, I couldn't walk anymore. I couldn't stand on my left side. But, fortunately, I got there quickly and was able to get treated by a team of specialists."

The Dallas native is a four-time Olympic gold medalist who won the 400 meters twice and the 200 meters  and 4x400-meter relay once across the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Johnson is also a former record-holder in the 200- and 400-meter events.

Despite his past as an elite-level athlete, Johnson admitted that rehabilitating from the stroke wasn't easy: "[Rehabbing was] a little more difficult on the one hand because no one's standing there clapping there for me when I finish my workout now. But, at the same time, this is my livelihood that was at stake."

Now that Johnson is healthy again, he is spending much of his time raising awareness for the American Stroke Association.