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Jan Johnson
Personal information
BornNovember 11, 1950 (1950-11-11) (age 73)
Hammond, Indiana, United States
Medal record
Men's Athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1972 Munich Pole vault
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 1971 Cali Pole vault

Jan Johnson (born November 11, 1950, in Hammond, Indiana) is an American former athlete who competed mainly in the pole vault. He graduated in 1972 from the University of Alabama, where he holds the school record in the pole vault at 18 feet, 1/2 inch.

He competed for the United States in the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany, where he won the bronze medal.

Johnson held a world indoor record at 17 feet, 7 inches while competing for the University of Kansas. He transferred to Alabama, where he became a three-time NCAA champion. He won the 1971 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the Alabama Crimson Tide.[1] He was also an accomplished long jumper and sprinter in both high school and college.

Johnson won the 1968 Illinois state high school championship while competing at Bloom High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. In 1972, the gymnasium of Rickover Junior High School in Sauk Village, Illinois was dedicated and named in his honor. His younger brother Tim Johnson, set the National HS indoor record of 16'7 in 1974. His daughter, Chelsea, became a two-time NCAA outdoor champion in the pole vault for UCLA. Chelsea was silver medalist for the US in the women's pole vault at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin.[2][3]

Jan Johnson runs "Sky Jumpers," a pole vault camp based on the central coast of California.[4] Johnson also hosts auxiliary "Sky Jumpers" camps annually in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Johnson has been an outspoken innovator and advocate for pole vault safety. He co-authored The Illustrated History of the Pole Vault, published in 2007. His second book: "The High Flyer and the Cultural Revolution" has recently been published to high reviews.


  1. ^ Retrieved 2012-10-20. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link] USA Pole Vault Champions
  2. ^ USATF
  3. ^ USATF bio
  4. ^ Coaching