Michael Johnson Young Leaders is providing underprivileged young people from around the world with the confidence, skills and resources to achieve a better future for themselves by focusing on sporting performance, leadership and community.
Michael Johnson is the first man ever to be ranked number one in the world at both 200 and 400 meters, and the first to win both events at an Olympic Games. He retired with four Olympic gold medals and nine World Championship golds to his name.
The power of sport gave Michael Johnson the opportunity to succeed – not just on the track, but in life as a successful businessman. He worked hard to get to where he is today. But he was also given opportunities: through his coach, through his education, through support of mentors and family. He saw that without opportunity, talent – no matter how great – struggles to succeed.
Through his work with multiple charities, Michael also saw the ability sports had to changes lives of the most disadvantaged. While supporting many organizations using sports as a catalyst for change over the last 20 years, Michael saw an opportunity for a unique program, which would provide some of the most talented of young people benefitting from these organizations with tangible tools that would enable them not just to change their own lives, but to make a bigger impact – on their community and on society as a whole.
So he started his own foundation to provide those opportunities to young people who have overcome adversity and demonstrated a desire to use their own experience to help others. Carefully selecting each young person, he personally looks after the development of the Michael Johnson Young Leaders so they have the leadership skills and tools to give back to their communities and trigger wider change through sport.