Former Olympic Track & Field Athlete Kibwé Johnson Accepts Position as Throws Coach at SPIRE Track & Field Academy

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Effective Feb 1, 2021, Olympic track & field athlete Kibwé Johnson will become the Throws Coach at the Track & Field Academy at SPIRE Institute & Academy (IA).

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I want to help student athletes achieve their full potential in every aspect of their lives... I want to help develop all their talents, and I want to be a part of creating and shaping programs that accomplish these objectives.

Effective Feb 1, 2021, Olympic track & field athlete Kibwé Johnson will become the Throws Coach at the Track & Field Academy at SPIRE Institute & Academy (IA). Northeast Ohio’s SPIRE is one of the premier sports training and education, camp and academy, tournament and event venues in the US. It’s 480-acre campus features 175,000 sq. ft. of indoor training and competition facilities. In addition to hosting regional and national events across multiple sports, SPIRE runs training/education academy programs in track and field, swimming, basketball and, commencing Sept 2021, esports.

In this new position, Johnson will build out the hammer, discuss and weight throw training and development program/curricula within SPIRE’S Track and Field Academy. He will also bring throws training to SPIRE camp and club programs, help create special events featuring throws competitors, and organize customized small group training sessions for high school, collegiate, post collegiate and professional athletes.

Over the last 10 years, Johnson has won five US championships with three runner-up finishes, represented the US at the 2012 London Olympics in 2012, and competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. One of the most versatile throwers of all time, Johnson holds the unofficial world record for combination of Hammer throw (80.31m/263'5"), Discus (65.11m/213'7"), and Indoor weight throw (25.12m/82'5").

Today, Johnson is a highly respected throws coach who spent the last five years coaching at a premier residential academy program in Florida. He made the move to SPIRE, says Johnson “Because I wanted the opportunity to do more than just coach. I want to help student athletes achieve their full potential in every aspect of their lives,” he says. “While that includes coaching them to perform well in track and field events, it’s more than just that. I want to help develop all their talents, and I want to be a part of creating and shaping programs that accomplish these objectives. SPIRE embraces this same philosophy, and I couldn’t be more excited to get started.”

SPIRE Co-Managing Director Ted Meekma says “Adding Kibwe Johnson to a staff that already features veteran Director Charlie Powell and (2004 Olympic pole vault champion) Tim Mack is a real coup for SPIRE T&F. Kibwe’s athletic prowess, coaching ability and exceptional character traits are second to none. I can’t wait to see the tremendous impact he will have on SPIRE athletes, both as successful students/competitors, and as well-rounded individuals ready to conquer the next stage of their lives.”

Johnson is married to Crystal Smith Johnson, a former Canadian track and field champion and record holder. The couple have two daughters.

About SPIRE
SPIRE IA (Institute & Academy)(http://www.spireinstitute.org) is one of the largest indoor training and competition complexes in the world. With 750,000 sq. ft. under roof and a campus of 480 acres, SPIRE has the unique capacity to simultaneously host a world-renowned sports academy, clubs, leagues, tournaments and championship events, no matter the weather or the season.

SPIRE Academy and its expert coaches, teachers and performance trainers offer residential camp and academy training programs in basketball, track and field, swimming, esports and drone racing. This comprehensive mix of professional level training integrates athletics and academics, skills training, performance training and personal/career development in a unique and comprehensive fashion. High school and post grad athletes on one campus, pursuing a variety of specialty passions alongside college prep academics, is a career development experience that you just won’t find anywhere else in the world today.

SPIRE is a melting pot of all things relative to long-term training and education development, delivered within a fun, healthy and inspiring environment. The “SPIRE Way’’ focuses on the development of the whole self – building strong minds, strong bodies and strong character.

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