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LVER Celebrates Black History Month

Feb. 24 – Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson (September 13, 1967), a native of Dallas, Texas, is the current world and American record holder in the 200 and 400 meters. He became the first man in history to win those two events at a single Olympic Games, conquering that feat during the Atlanta 1996 Games. Johnson became the only man to repeat as Olympic 400m champion when he won gold at the Sydney 2000 Games. Johnson owns more world outdoor championships, with nine, than any athlete in history, and he ran the anchor leg of the U.S. squad that set the existing 4x400m relay world record in 1998. Johnson, who set the 200m world record on two occasions, is a three-time Olympian, who won 4x400m relay gold medals in 1996 & 2000. A five-time World Outdoor Championships team member, Johnson also won the 200m gold medal in 1991and 1995, as well as the 400m gold medal in 1993, ’95, ’97, ’99. He took the World Outdoor Championships title in the 4x400m gold medals in 1993, ’95, ’99, and he was a member of teams that set 4x400m relay world records in 1992-’93, ’98. Johnson is a five-time USA Outdoor 200m champion, and he won the USA Outdoor 400m title on four occasions in addition to winning the USA Indoor 400m championship four times. As a collegiate star at Baylor University, Johnson won the 1990 NCAA Outdoor 200m title, and was a two-time NCAA Indoor 200m champion. He ranked in the world 11 times in 200m, with five of those ranking at No.1, and he earned  11 world rankings in the 400m, with 10 of those as No. 1.
Feb. 25 – David Oliver
David Oliver (April 24, 1982), whose hometown is Denver, is the reigning 110-meter hurdles world champion, having claimed his title at the 2013 IAAF Championships held in August, 2013, in Moscow. Oliver attended Howard University, where he was a multi-sport star in both track & field and football, and he earned invitations to several NFL try-outs due to his phenomenal collegiate success. Oliver is the only athlete from Howard to earn All-American honors twice (2003 and 2004), and his sensational list of accomplishments include three USA Outdoor championships, one Indoor Championship and a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Oliver’s 100-meter hurdles time of 12.89 stands as the second greatest American performance, and the fifth fastest of all-time while his finish of 7.37 in the 60-meter hurdles is just one-hundredth of a second off the American record. Oliver’s athletic success has enabled him to engage in several philanthropic endeavors off the track.  SUB13, founded in 2010 by Oliver, focuses on helping inner city children prosper both athletically and academically. In addition to his own organization. Oliver also visited schools and community centers around the country as a representative of USA Track & Field’s Win With Integrity program, which was aimed at educating youth, parents and coaches about the positive results that come from leading a physically active, drug-free lifestyle while living with integrity. 
Feb. 26 – Sanya Richards-Ross
Sanya Richards-Ross (February 26, 1985) is a five-time Olympic medalist, as well as the American record-holder in the 400-meter dash, running a blistering 48.70 at the 2006 World Cup in Athens, Greece. Over the course of her illustrious career, Richards-Ross, who was raised in Jamaica before immigrating to America, has reigned supreme over the 400-meters and 4x400m-relay. She has a collection of four Olympic gold medals, is only the second American 400m gold medalist in Olympic history and won six world championships.  Richards-Ross owns eight of the top 10, 400-meter times ever recorded by an American woman. In recent years Richards-Ross has been almost as unstoppable off the track as she has been on it. She and her sister own The Hair Clinic, a salon in Texas that also sells her custom-made line of hair extensions.  Richards-Ross and her husband, Giants cornerback Aaron Ross, star in the WEtv series Glam and Gold, which follows the sprinter throughout her hectic daily life. Despite her non-stop lifestyle, this Olympian and budding media personality still finds time for humanitarian endeavors. The Sanya Richards Fast Track Program was born in 2007 with the primary goal of combining sports with literacy and numeracy. Since its inception, the program has provided aid to over a thousand children in poverty-stricken areas of Jamaica. Richards-Ross was also one of the first athletes to participate in the USA Track and Field Win With Integrity Program.
Feb. 27 – Allyson Felix
Allyson Felix (November 18, 1985) is one of the most decorated American sprinters in the history of track & field. Over the span of her illustrious career Felix, affectionately dubbed “Chicken Legs” by her teammates in high school, has raced her way to nine national championships and six Olympic medals. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Felix became the first woman – since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 – to win three golds, earning the right to stand on top of the podium in the 200-meters, 4×100-meter relay and 4×400-meter relay. Felix is the only four-time recipient of the Jesse Owens Award, which is USATF’s annually recognized Athlete of the Year award. Off the track, Felix serves as a global ambassador for Right to Play, an organization designed to encourage the development of education, health and leadership in disadvantaged areas through sports. An advocate for the elimination of doping in the sport, Felix is also member of Project Believe, a voluntary drug-testing program requiring athletes to go beyond typical testing obligations. Despite skipping the collegiate ranks to become a professional immediately after high school, Felix attended the University of Southern California, where she earned a degree in education in 2008. Post-retirement Felix hopes to put her degree to good use and become an elementary school teacher. However, she is still active athlete and a true role model in the sport.