This event was the highly anticipated Michael Johnson – Donovan Bailey “match” race at 150m at the Skydome, Toronto (Donovan’s home turf)
After the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where Michael Johnson won both the 200m and 400m, he claimed to be the World’s Fastest Man. Normally, that title is given to the 100m winner. If there was a 40 yard dash in the Olympics, then that winner would probably determine the World’s Fastest Man.
The controversy and hype that surrounded this question led to a distance halfway between the 100m and 200m: The 150 meters.
Each were paid $500,000 appearance fee, and an extra $1,000,000 was given to the winner. $1.5 Million dollars is not bad for under 15 seconds of work.
Unfortunately, I cold only find the CBS Feed on Youtube. I may have the CBC version stashed somewhere in my VHS archives. For those who remember, Donovan lashed out on Michael Johnson calling him a “chicken & coward” and that “he faked the injury”. Michael showed a little more grace.
After all, when you lose, don’t be too sad. But when you win, don’t be too happy either.
Donovan later apologized for the remarks, saying his emotions got to him.
Do you remember where you were when this was televised live? I was sitting in a Hockey Arena Sports Bar in Surrey.