Olympian Michael Johnson suffers a stroke

Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson announced Saturday that he’s recovering after recently suffering a mini-stroke.

Johnson “surprisingly” had what’s known as a Transient Ischemic Attack, or TIA, last week, he said in a Twitter post. The retired athlete is now at home with his family after doctors cleared him of cardiac issues. He’s expected to make a full recovery, as Johnson continues to make significant progress.

“It seems these things can affect anyone, even the once fastest man in the world!” he stated. “I’m no stranger to a good exercise plan and have thrown myself into it with my usual focus and determination. … I will be posting updates on my recovery often. Thanks for all the words of encouragement!”

A TIA is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, according to the American Stroke Association. TIAs are often labelled mini-strokes because they can be relatively minor in terms of immediate consequences.

Since it doesn’t cause permanent damage, having a TIA is often ignored as no big deal, the stroke association said. However, it’s better viewed as a “warning stroke” because they could indicate a high likelihood of a more serious stroke.

The four-time Olympic champion, who will turn 51 on Sept. 13, was once the fastest man in the world at 200 meter and 400-meter races, reported BBC News, where he works as an expert track and field commentator.

Johnson participated in the Olympics three times, in 1992, 1996 and 2000. He was the first man to win both the 200 meter and 400-meter race at the same Olympic game (1996 in Atlanta). He’s also won eight gold medals at the IAAF World Championships from 1991- 1999 and was elected into the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004.