"They mean nothing to anyone";"It’s traditional and part and parcel of the sport"- Fans react to Michael Johnson calling bib numbers 'bits of paper'

Olympic & Paralympic Games, Paris 2024 and Beyond - Laureus World Sports Awards Madrid 2024
Olympic & Paralympic Games, Paris 2024 and Beyond - Laureus World Sports Awards Madrid 2024

Michael Johnson recently commented on bib numbers still being used in track and field despite great technological advancements transforming the sport completely. The legendary athlete raised a question about the same, which led to discussions among track and field athletes.

Michael Johnson has been trying to elevate track and field to a larger audience in an attempt to make the sport as popular as the NFL and NBA. He believes track and field features some of the best athletes in the world but still fails to garner a larger audience as it is not marketed properly.

Johnson recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to address a topic that he felt had not changed in track and field for decades. Posting a picture of Noah Lyles sprinting down the end of the track, he wrote:

"Why does this sport insist on covering the worlds fastest athletes with bits of paper?"

His statement of referring to Bib Numbers as a "bit of paper" began a discussion among fans, who were divided on the subject and were quick enough to express their views.

"So many are trying to find alternative ways to place numbering, like the spraypainting on the skin in pro triathlon, when in truth there is no reason for the numbers at all. It's not some mass participation fun run. They mean nothing to anyone. A laggard remnant from decades ago," wrote a fan.
"Probably a bit old-fashioned, but it’s traditional and part and parcel of the sport,"chimed in another fan.
"It’s time to have a recognisable uniform/kit with your favourite athlete’s name on the back like in other sports. The revenue generated alone," wrote another fan.

Here are some more fan reactions:

"It’s bizarre. When there are 100s or 1000s in a race, yes. But pro, track events? Who uses the info?," wrote a fan.
"Exactly what I say every week!!!," tweeted a fan.
And it usually falls off halfway through the race," another fan chimed in.

Michael Johnson's advice for track and field fans before Paris Olympics 2024

Olympic & Paralympic Games, Paris 2024 and Beyond - Laureus World Sports Awards Madrid 2024
Olympic & Paralympic Games, Paris 2024 and Beyond - Laureus World Sports Awards Madrid 2024

Despite retiring from the sport after an illustrious career, Michael Johnson remains connected to the sport and frequently shares his thoughts on social media regarding the same.

He recently took to X to share a piece of advice for track and field fans as the Paris Olympics is just around the corner.

"Advice for track fans as we head toward Paris Olympics. Support your favorite, argue why they’ll win, talk your shit, keep it respectful and fun. Above all DO NOT put money on your pick!!," he tweeted.

With the Olympics in a few months, Michael Johnson is currently working on launching a new track and field league that would be fully fan-focused and help the sport reach its pinnacle.

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