Johnson: ‘Owens better than Bolt’

Former double world record holder Michael Johnson has hailed American sprinter Jesse Owens and not track and field’s reigning monarch Usain Bolt as the greatest athlete of all time.

Owens, who competed in the 1930’s, is widely regarded as one of the sport’s leading pioneers, competing in a time when the black race fought to be recognized as equal to whites in many countries, including his home nation the United States.

Jesse Owens (l) and Usain Bolt.

Owens claimed four gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump events at the 1936 Olympic Games, in Berlin, Germany. By direct comparison Bolt has achieved twice as many gold medals over three consecutive Olympics, in Beijing, London and Rio, but Owens’ performance in Berlin, in front of German dictator Adolf Hitler was widely credited with dismissing the myth of the Aryan superman.

Owens is also credited with setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Bolt, however, set five world records at the consecutive 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2009 Berlin World Championships.

“For me Jesse Owens is the greatest. No doubt, a lot of people feel that it is Usain Bolt and if there were five other people with me here, they might have differed. But for me it is Owens who is the greatest, personally speaking,” Johnson said, while attending the Laureus Sports award in Monaco where the Jamaica picked up a record-tying fourth award.  The American was, however, quick to point out the Jamaican’s role in revolutionizing the sport.

“Undoubtedly, Bolt has redefined athletics and he is great for the competition.”

Meanwhie Bolt has said he believes the sport of athletics could benefit from an injection of personality and has encouraged athletes to show a bit more while on track.

In addition to his numerous exploits on the track the decorated Olympic and World Champion is known for being one of the most flamboyant athletes on the planet, an attribute many believe has served to be a major selling point for track and field over the last couple of years.

However, with Bolt set to retire from the sport following this year’s World Championships in London, concerns have also been raised that the sport will wane in popularity following the departure of its most charismatic figure.  Bolt believes the impact could be lessened if athletes revealed themselves a bit more.

“I don’t want sprinters to change their personalities, but I always tell fellow sprinters that people enjoy your personality along with your performances,” Bolt said.

“I was telling (Andre) De Grasse the same thing. It’s no good being too quiet but it’ll be no good if he goes flat once I retire. Hopefully, they will listen to me and try to show their personalities a little more.”

The Canadian De Grasse is thought to be one of a handful of sprinters that could replace the Jamaican as the king of sprinting.

Source: (Sportsmax)

16 Responses to Johnson: ‘Owens better than Bolt’

  1. Nicole Brewster
    Nicole Brewster February 16, 2017 at 6:29 am

    Johnson have a serious problem

  2. Danny Colombian Clarke
    Danny Colombian Clarke February 16, 2017 at 6:30 am

    This young ppl is all the proof that you need that drugs damages your brain . Don’t do drugs like Johnson or you will end up babbling foolishness

  3. Patrina Drakes
    Patrina Drakes February 16, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Johnson why are you so bitter is because you need to dope to win and even with performance enhancement drugs you still would not be in the league of Bolt.

  4. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes February 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Johnson does not want to give a West Indian his true acknowledgement, would rather keep it close to home.

  5. Cordelia Prescott
    Cordelia Prescott February 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Ohhh come on now!!!

  6. Guto Owen
    Guto Owen February 16, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Johnson commentates on track for the BBC here in UK and is always very positive about Bolt to be fair. I also do not know of him failing any drug tests, so those comments are very unfair! Mr Johnson simply has an opinion, while I disagree with him, he is entitled to it!

    • Gee Zette
      Gee Zette February 16, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Maybe their thinking about Ben Johnson and not Michael Johnson

  7. Debbie Gittens
    Debbie Gittens February 16, 2017 at 7:00 am


  8. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba February 16, 2017 at 7:10 am


  9. Sinister Sam February 16, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Jealousy, envy.

  10. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan February 16, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Pull brakes!! Stop right there!! Who asked Johnson’s opinion or made him feel that anything that rolls off his numb doped up tongue is worth listening to?? Bolt nor the world does not need confirmation from him. I’m surprised that swiss cheese brain still works…now on to real news

  11. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd February 16, 2017 at 9:08 am


  12. Kevin February 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

    They will try to keep the ‘greatest’ in and of the USA.

  13. Marcus Williams February 16, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Johnson is mixing cultural significance with athletic achievement. I’m sure Jamaicans will argue that Bolt is just as culturally important to them as Owens is to African-Americans.

  14. Pat BB
    Pat BB February 16, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Wow!! After all this time the drugs still have his brain tangle up, or he still using??….yuh cudda never believe nothing he say..
    Johnson shut tuh hell up with ur Jealousy, nobody wants to hear u.

  15. Tony Waterman February 18, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    It Does NOT matter what Johnson Thinks, Bolt’s RECORDS speak for themselves, and I or Johnson or anyone Living in this Time, will NOT Live long enough to ANYONE Repeat what Bolt Has done.

    I am NOT Jamaican.


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