Winners: Ben Johnson, Athletics

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Photograph of Ben Johnson

Portrait of Ben Johnson.
Date: 1985
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

1986 - Feature Story

The year began with a World Indoor 60m record of 6.50 seconds and it only got better for Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson. A year earlier Johnson, double Bronze medalist from the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, had won the 60m event at the World Indoor Championships in Paris and took the Gold medal at the World Cup in Canberra, Australia. In 1986, there was no overlooking the 24-year-old sprinter from Scarborough, Ontario, as a contender for the world’s fastest man. He defeated British great Linford Christie to win the 100m final at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, where he also earned a Gold medal in the 4x100m relay and a Bronze medal in the 200m. At the 1986 Goodwill Games in Moscow, Johnson outsprinted longtime rival American Carl Lewis, defending World and Olympic champion, to win the Gold medal in 9.95 seconds, just .02 off the world record mark.

1987 - Feature Story

Johnson set a world record of 9.83 seconds, en route to winning the 100m final at the 1987 World Track and Field Championships in Rome. Years later, however, he was disqualified as the 1987 World Champion and the world record was nullified after an intense investigation into his positive test for steroids at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Career Highlights

  • 1986, 1987 Lionel Conacher Award (Canada’s male athlete of the year)

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