I make appearance at local park and recreation agencies when the program starts, when they have the qualifying meets at the local levels. Then I try to go to the regional competitions, and of course I’m there in Hershey, Pa., in August for the North American final.
So I had the opportunity to do what the kids in the Hershey program do, except that the Hershey program lets them do it on such a larger scale, with the regional and national competitions.
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I also meet with city officials, representatives from governors’ offices, really anyone in that sort of position who has shown an interest in youth fitness, to let them know why this sort of program is so important. I give the same message when I speak at conferences.
It’s very warm there, so we were outdoors all the time. The local people had programs for us year-round, where as kids we had the opportunity to play football, basketball, baseball, track and field – we just went from one sport to the next, year-round.
|Birth:||18th August, 1935|
Johnson was born in Hillsboro, Texas, but the family moved to Kingsburg, California, when he was nine. For a while, they were the only black family in the town.A versatile athlete, he played on Kingsburg High School's football, baseball and basketball teams. He was also elected class president in both junior high and high school. At 16, he became attracted to the decathlon after seeing double Olympic champion Bob Mathias compete and told his coach, "I could have beaten most of those guys."
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