Legendary US Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson set to launch track and field league

Olympic champion Michael Johnson is launching his own track and field league.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the legendary American runner has secured over $30 million from investors and strategic partners for a track and field league scheduled to begin next year. Winners Alliance is reportedly the lead investor and will be the league’s operating partner.

The new track and field league has reportedly added three agencies to promote the sport’s stars through fan-focused storytelling. The goal is to help promote track and field athletes and increase the popularity of the sport. Track and field is one of the most popular Olympic sports every four years and will be featured prominently at the 2024 Paris Games.

“Working to change the game for athletes and fans! League details coming this June,” Johnson posted on social media Tuesday along with a link to the Sports Business Journal article.

Johnson is one of the most decorated track and field athletes of all time. He’s a four-time Olympic gold medalist, earning golds in the 200 and 400 meters at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and defending his 400-meter gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Johnson also won gold as part of the 4x400 relay team at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

An eight-time world champion, Johnson’s personal-best time of 43.18 in the 400 that he ran in 1999 is still an American record.

Johnson’s new track and field league comes amid another big investment in the sport.

Alexis Ohanian announces 776 Invitational

American Gabby Thomas celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 2, 2021.
American Gabby Thomas celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 2, 2021.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and husband to Serena Williams, announced Tuesday that he’s investing in a new women’s only track and field invitational, called the 776 Invitational, coming September 2024.

“At 776, we believe in the power of sports to drive positive change and inspire future generations,” Ohanian said in a statement on the 776 Invitational’s official website. “By investing in women’s track, we aim to elevate the profile of female athletes and create a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape."

American sprinter Gabby Thomas, the defending Olympic bronze medalist in the women’s 200, is partnering with Ohanian to help jumpstart the 776 Invitational.

"I am excited to partner with forward-thinking organizations like 776 that share our vision for advancing women's track," Thomas said in a statement. "Through this investment, we hope to not only provide athletes with the resources and visibility they need to have enduring careers but also to inspire fans worldwide with a reinvented format to experience the best of our sport."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michael Johnson, US Olympian, set to launch track and field league