Jan Johnson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJan Eric•Johnson
Used nameJan•Johnson
Born11 November 1950 in Hammond, Indiana (USA)
Measurements180 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsChicago Track Club, Chicago (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


While attending Kansas, Jan Johnson won the 1970 NCAA outdoor pole vault although the competition was concluded indoors in a nearby fieldhouse because of a cloudburst. Johnson actually set a World Indoor Record of 17-7 (5.36) in winning that “outdoor” title. Johnson later enrolled at Alabama and claimed three major victories. In 1971 he won the AAU outdoor and the Pan American Games, and in 1972 he won the NCAA Indoor. His career best of 18-0½ (5.50) came at the 1972 Final Trials when he placed third. Johnson earned a MS degree in Biomechanics at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and continued to compete sporadically for a number of seasons after the Olympics.

Johnson was the father of Chelsea Johnson, World silver medalist in pole vault in 2009, who later married decathlon Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee. His brother, Tim, set the US high school indoor record in pole vault in 1974. Jan Johnson worked as a teacher, coach, author, and safety advocate for the pole vault and coached and trained many pole vault champions during his career.

Personal Bests: LJ – 24-9 (7.54) (1972); PV – 18-0½ (5.50) (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Jan Johnson
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze

Olympic family relations

Special Notes