Leading up to London 2012, a number of the world’s top athletes are calling ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex their training home.
Brooks Johnson, the 2010 USATF Coach of the Year, trains a team of five Olympic-caliber athletes, including 2008 Olympic medalists David Oliver and David Payne, and top US women athletes Tiffany Ross Williams, Connie Moore and April Holmes.
On his group of athletes, Johnson stresses the importance of working together towards a common goal. “Chemistry makes an awful lot of difference,” Johnson said. “We hand pick the people who come here; we do it based on diversity and chemistry.”
Quick Hits on Athletes Training with Johnson:
David Oliver (110 meter hurdles) – Olympic Bronze Medalist (2008 Beijing); three-time USA outdoor champion (2008, 2010, 2012); twice set the American 110-meter hurdles record (2010).
David Payne (110 meter hurdles) – Olympic Silver Medalist (2008 Beijing); first place at USA Outdoor Championships (2009).
Tiffany Ross Williams (400 meter hurdles) – finished first at the US Olympic Trials (2008); first place at Visa Outdoor Championships and the USA Outdoor Championships (2007).
Consuella “Connie” Moore (100 and 200 meters) – qualified as a member of US Olympic women’s 4×100 meter relay team (2004 Athens); first place at USA Outdoor Championships 200 meters (2010); coming off an injury in 2011.
April Holmes (100, 200 and 400 meters) – reigning Paralympics world record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints; top contender for multiple gold medals at the Paralympic Games in London this summer; Paralympic 100 meter gold medalist (2008); first female athlete to be signed by the Michael Jordan apparel brand.
Coach Brooks Johnson – Arguably the foremost track coach in the world; former U.S. Olympic track head coach, Nike Coach of the Year (2010); has trained an athlete at every Olympic Games since 1968, including Evelyn Ashford, Chandra Cheeseborough and reigning bronze medalist David Oliver; once coached vice president Al Gore and senator Ted Kennedy in high school; holds a law degree (Univ of Chicago Law School) and once taught cultural anthropology.