Chad Johnson played football at Santa Monica college and Oregon State university before playing eleven NFL seasons, for the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, and the Miami Dolphins. He played for the Bengals for 10 seasons, played in Super Bowl XLVI for the Patriots in 2012, and played preseason for the Dolphins before being let go from the team after an arrest for domestic violence.
Johnson has had his share of headlines, both good, bad and bizarre. His name was once Chad Ochocinco because “ocho” and “cinco” are the numbers eight and five in Spanish, and his jersey number was 85. He was arrested in 2012 for domestic battery. Now, however, it is one of his six children who is making headlines.
Chad’s 12-year-old daughter, Cha’iel Johnson, set a new US record for the 800-meter run in the 12-year-old girl category. Her run, 2 minutes and 14.80 seconds, breaks her own record time. Last year, she received gold for that event in the Junior Olympics with a time 5 seconds slower than her latest. She had also previously posted a run time of 2 minutes 16 seconds.
In video of the win, Johnson leads the pack by a wide margin, with no runner really visible in the shot as she crosses the finish line.
She also makes it look as easy as breathing showing little exhaustion or emotion until she turns around and beats her chest, a move which reminded many of her football-legend father.
Chad compared the move to Denzel Washington in the film Training Day.
Cha’iel told one reporter that she felt proud of her accomplishment and that she did it for her parents and her coach.
Her coach, Darius Lawesha, says that she trains like an adult, intimidating boys and girls alike with her work ethic, and pushing herself like she knows she can be the best. “She has the potential to break a record every time she steps on the track,” he said prior to her most recent run, which proved him apparently correct.
As of August, 2016, adults running the 800 m, a middle distance race (meaning it’s between a sprint and a long-distance run) give some perspective on what this pre-teen achieved. The fastest men’s 800 m reported by that date was 1 minutes 40.91 seconds, by a Kenyan runner David Rudisha in 2012. For adult women, the fasted time as of August 2016 was 1 minutes 53.28 seconds posted by Czech runner Jarmila Katochvilova in 1983.
For runners 19 and under, juniors, the records are 1 minutes 41.73 for Nijel Amos in 2012 and 1 minutes 54.01 seconds for Pamela Jelimo in 2008. It is likely that young Johnson’s next goals will be to not only best her age-category and her own personal records, but to best as many other times as possible.
There’s definitely a lot in store for this pint-sized athlete. Her coach assured journalists that she still knows how to be a kid at the end of the day.
Cha’iel said in one statement that she had once tried to race her father but that he had claimed he pulled a hamstring, meaning this 12-year-old is already intimidating NFL legends, too.
TMZ posted a video of the finish which was shared on Chad Johnson’s social media (where he compared her chest beating to Denzel) in which you can see her well ahead of everyone else and almost jogging across the finish line to her record-breaking win.