Over 15 years ago, Antoine Johnson had plans to compete in the olympic games. Unfortunately, due to injury, his dreams deferred. Now at 38, Antoine is preparing to compete at the Gay Games in Paris France.
Antoine grew up reading olympic champion Carl Lewis’s books and I wanted to be like Carl. He explained that it was a very difficult journey as he struggled with his sexual identity and a devastating injury. Although his times in the 110 meter high hurdles were competitive, his physical and emotional battles at the time was just to much to bare.
Antoine never got his chance to compete as a proud out athlete, which left him with regrets and fell out of love with the sport. “I never got my chance to compete as an out athlete or as Antoine.” The once heartbroken and angry olympic hopeful has a different mindset and story to tell. Thanks to friends and Geno’s cheesesteaks, a huge contributor and sponsor who helped Antoine get to the gay games, Antoine will compete in 110 meter high hurdles, the 100 meters, the 400 intermediate hurdles and long jump, this summer in Paris.
For the first time Antoine will get to compete as a proud, gay, American athlete. Antoine said “I’m excited that my friends are going to be there with me, my partner will be there, and I think its’ the first competition where I have real supporters, that means a lot to me.” For Antoine Johnson this is truly a full circle moment and his story is truly going to inspire people all over the world.