Aside from his Olympic success Johnson accumulated eight gold medals at World Championships, and is thus tied with Carl Lewis for the second most gold medals won by a runner (second only to Usain Bolt).Johnson's stiff upright running position and very short steps defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed.Johnson's clocking of 19.32s (10.35 m/s) en route to breaking the 200 metre world record at the 1996 Olympics led some in the United States to consider him the fastest man in the world.In 1997 Johnson began appearing in Nike television advertisements in which he was billed as "World's fastest man" as a result of his 200 m world record.At the 200 m final on August 1, Johnson ran the opening 100 metres in 10.12 seconds and finished the race in a world record time of 19.32 seconds, breaking by more than three tenths of a second the previous record he had set in the U. Olympic Trials, on the same track one month earlier—the largest improvement ever on a 200 m world record.
Sources differ on the exact weight of these shoes; the manufacturer of the spikes claims they weighed 3 ounces (85 g) each, On July 29, Johnson easily captured the 400 m Olympic title with an Olympic Record time of 43.49 seconds, 0.92 seconds ahead of silver medalist Roger Black of Great Britain.
Two weeks before the 1992 Summer Olympics began, Johnson and his agent both contracted food poisoning at a restaurant in Spain. He was the favorite to win the 200 m going into the Olympics, but he could do no better than sixth in his semifinal heat, and failed to reach the 200 m final. His 42.91 second split time in the 4 × 400 m relay remains the fastest 400 metres in history.
Nevertheless, he was able to race as a member of the 4 × 400 m relay team, which won a gold medal and set a new world record time of .74. At the end he made it a "triple" by adding another title in the 4 × 400 m relay.
In June 1996, aged 29 years 9 months, Johnson ran 19.66 seconds in the 200 m at the U. Olympic Trials, breaking Pietro Mennea's record of 19.72 seconds, which had stood for nearly 17 years.
With that performance he qualified to run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and prepared to attempt to win both the 200 metres and 400 metres events, a feat never before achieved by a male athlete.