From the Independent:
Scholars of the Jamaican sports industry also point to Dennis Johnson for having done more than anyone to integrate sports – particularly track and field – into the university curricula and to impose structure and discipline into the training of the island’s best hopes. Much of Jamaica’s success might not have happened but for Johnson, a Jamaican who attended university nearly 50 years ago at San Jose State, in southern California, where he strived on the track under legendary American coach Bud Winter.
Johnson took what he learned back to Kingston and introduced sports into the curriculum of University of Technology for the first time. Offering would-be runners the chance to train and learn at the same time is what made all the difference, he says now. “You need an education,” Johnson said this week. “You need to get help. I received all those things at San Jose.”
It meant also that runners who saw the chance of success on the world stage did not feel compelled to leave the island and compete on behalf of other nations. They used to go to the US mostly, while Linford Christie headed for England and Donovan Bailey left for Canada. “Everybody went to the States,” Johnson said. “We don’t need to go to the States any more. We can do it right here. We’re doing that as we speak.”
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