"Barcelona was the first time I went to the blocks imagining my lane was a tunnel, with everything else on either side a blur," Christie wrote later.
Christie was a late developer who won his first major championship aged 26 and won Olympic silver in Seoul at 28.
Though a double European Champion, he was not exactly beloved by the public or the press, who considered him arrogant, distant and uncooperative.
Christie, who grew up in London against a background of institutional racism and civil unrest, felt shunned by the establishment and fed off the criticism.
"All the bad stuff has proved my mental strength," he said.
Controversy dogged Christie throughout his career, and a positive test for nandrolone in 1999 provided his naysayers with ammunition.
But his crowning glory in 1992 was a moment of stunning achievement.
World champion Carl Lewis had failed to qualify through the US trials, leaving Leroy Burrell as Christie's main competition.
But the American faltered into fifth place, as Christie stormed to gold in 9.96 seconds - at 32 the oldest man to win 100m gold.