Linford Cicero Christie is a former British sprinter who is often regarded as the most accomplished male British athlete of all time. Despite entering the track scene at a somewhat late time in his career for a sprinter, he was able to carve out a place for himself. He has won 24 major championship medals, including gold medals in the 100m dash in all four major tournaments in which a British athlete may compete, namely the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, European Championships, and World Championships, making him the first British male athlete to do so. He won one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at the Olympic Games; one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at the World Championships; two silver medals at the World Indoor Championships; three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at the European Championships; three gold and one bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships; and three gold and one bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. The 60-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 4×100-meter relay were among the events. Christie became the first European sprinter to break the ten-second barrier in the 100m, and his 9.87-second effort at the 1993 World Championships still stands as the British record. He also held European marks in the 60m, 100m, and 4 x 100m relays, as well as a world indoor record in the 200m, which was later broken by other athletes. He enters the race as the third quickest sprinter of all time. In 1990, he was awarded the MBE, then in 1998, the OBE. In 2009, he was inducted into the ‘London Youth Games Hall of Fame,’ and in 2010, he was inducted into the ‘England Athletics Hall of Fame.’
Childhood and Adolescence
Mabel Christie and James Christie had seven children when he was born on April 2, 1960, in Saint Andrew, Jamaica. He was reared by his grandmother until he was seven years old, when he moved in with his parents in Acton, London. He excelled in physical education at ‘Henry Compton Secondary School’ in Fulham, London. He represented the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in the first ‘London Youth Games’ in 1977. In 1978, he joined the ‘Air Training Corps,’ a British youth group.
At the age of 19, he seriously considered sports, but he was unable to achieve much in the early stages of his track career. In 1979, he began working with Ron Roddan, a coach he met at his high school. Roddan was Christie’s coach at the West London Stadium, and the two remained friends throughout Christie’s track career. He was left out of the Great Britain team for the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Career of Linford Christie
In 1986, he surprised everyone by winning his first gold medal in the 100m at the 14th European Athletics Championships, which were held in the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart, West Germany. He also grabbed a bronze medal in the 4×100 m relay.
Christie’s other achievements in 1986 include winning the 200m at the European Indoor Championships in Madrid and placing second in the 100m and 4 x 100 m events at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Christie won the bronze medal in the 100m at the 1987 World Championships in Athletics in Rome, despite finishing fourth, since the winner, Ben Johnson, was disqualified after admitting to using steroids for years.
In 1988, he won a gold medal at the European Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, this time in the 60m dash, but placed third in the 200m dash, earning a bronze medal. That year, he won two silver medals in the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, in the 100m and 4×100 m relay, respectively. Despite finishing second in the 100m, he broke the European mark with a time of 9.97 seconds.
1990 turned out to be a really good year for him. He began the year with winning two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in the 100m and 4×100 m relay, respectively. He then went on to win gold in the 60m in the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, UK, and another gold in the 100m at the European Championships in Split, SFR Yugoslavia. At the European Championships that year, he also won silver and bronze medals in the 4×100 m relay and the 200 m, respectively.
He earned two silver medals in the 60m and 200m races at the World Indoor Championships in Seville, Spain, in March 1991. In the same year, he won a bronze medal in the 4×100 m relay at the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
In the age of 32 years and 121 days, he became the oldest athlete to win an Olympic gold by winning the 100m championship at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. After Harold Abrahams and Allan Wells, he is the third British sprinter to win the Olympic 100-meter dash.
In 1993, he won the 100m World Championships and finished second in the 4×100 m relay at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He became the first male sprinter in the history of the sport to win the 100m in all four major competitions: the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, European Championships, and World Championships. That year, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
He won two 100m championships in August 1994, the first at the 16th European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland, and the second at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia.
He achieved a European mark of 6.47 seconds in the 60m in 1995, which was later eclipsed in 1999 by another British sprinter, Jason Gardener, who ran 6.46 seconds. At the same year, he established a 200m indoor record in Liévin, France, with a time of 20.25 seconds.
Christie holds three current 35–39 masters athletics world records: the current M35 world record of 9.97 seconds in the 100 meters, which she set on September 23, 1995; the current M35 world record of 20.11 seconds in the 200 meters, which she set on June 25, 1995; and the current M35 indoor record of 6.51 seconds in the 60 meters, which she set on January 3, 1997.
Christie was disqualified from the 1996 Olympic final due to his two false starts. He retired from representing international competition in 1997, but continued to compete at invitation meetings. Christie was banned from sports for two years in 1999 after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance nandrolone. Following that, the ‘British Olympic Association’ said that, according to their regulations, Christie would not be allowed to compete in any future Olympic Games.
He transitioned to teaching after retiring from track and assists Darren Campbell and Katharine Merry in this endeavor. He hosted the BBC show ‘Record Breakers’ from 1998 to 2000. Another BBC series he co-hosted was ‘Garden Invaders.’ In 2000, he made his acting debut in the BBC’s children’s drama series ‘Grange Hill,’ and later in the BBC’s television drama series ‘Hustle.’ In 2010, he also appeared on the British reality television show ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’
Personal History and Legacy
Christie is the mother of six children and is said to have two more unborn children. Rachel Christie, his niece, was crowned Miss England in 2009, although she had to resign the title owing to an assault accusation.
Estimated Net Worth
Linford Christie is one of the wealthiest runners and one of the most popular. Linford Christie’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
In 1993, the ‘West London Stadium’ was renamed the ‘Linford Christie Stadium’ after him.